The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

RESPONSE FROM AUCKLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATE PENNY BRIGHT TO WAITAKERE HOUSING CALL TO ACTION

(Please note that I have discussed your questions with State Housing Advocate Sue Henry, whose knowledge and understanding arising from her untiring work over the years on housing and related issues, I have enormous respect.)

My replies are as follows:

INCREASED HOUSING PROVISION:

1) First – I believe we need to head off the proposed housing decrease through giving private sector organisations huge chunks of existing housing stock and to ban any sale of existing state housing stock.

I am opposed to ‘devolution’ of the provision of housing to ‘not-for-profit’ NGOs, as I believe it is still privatisation.

For example – care for the aged has devolved from the ‘not-for-profit’ church groups to ‘for profit’ multinational companies.

www.business.auckland.ac.nz/Portals/4/Research/General/Wokiring_Paper_07_1_.pdf (Pg 17)

“The CEO of Presbyterian Support noted that the charitable organisations “reluctantly” exited the market which was increasingly dominated by “large national and multinational providers” (Presbyterian Support East Coast, 2005).

2004 also saw the sale of facilities belonging to the Auckland Methodists and Hastings St John of God (Presbyterian Support East Coast, 2005).

Charitable providers seemed to find the government’s then $80 daily subsidy5 made their business unsustainable (“No budget money for providers of residential care”, 2005).

In contrast to the charitable providers, the large for-profit providers are expanding within the market.
The Macquarie Group recently purchased Eldercare NZ .”

I believe we need to retain Housing New Zealand (HNZ) as a ‘one stop shop’ entity.

Housing is a Government responsibility, and if all Council tenants came under the HNZ umbrella, they too would have more affordable rents at 25% of their net income.
(As happened when Auckland City Council pensioner housing was taken over by HNZ in 2004).

SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE PROVISION:

Currently the following ARC plan changes (growth centres in corridors) are detailed as follows:

www.arc.govt.nz/albany/fms/main/Documents/Plans/Regional%20Policy%20and%20Plans/ARPS/Proposed%20change%206/Housing%20Lobby%20Issues.pdf

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL Plan Change 175

RODNEY DISTRICT COUNCIL Plan Change 97

WAITAKERE CITY COUNCIL Plan Change 13

Plan Change 14
Plan Change 15
Plan Change 16
Plan Change 17
Plan Change 18

NORTH SHORE CITY COUNCIL Plan Change 12

MANUKAU CITY COUNCIL Plan Change 12

PAPAKURA DISTRICT COUNCIL Plan Change 10

FRANKLIN DISTRICT COUNCIL Plan Change 20

This process under these ‘District Plans’ are well underway, and immensely unpopular everywhere, as few people support a region full of potential slums and intensified housing compounds.

SOCIAL HOUSING:

There is a difference between ‘State’ housing and ‘social’ housing.
State housing is NOT temporary emergency housing – it is a separate entity.

“Vested interest groups need to start lobbying for all the social services to be reinstated – not piggy-back on State tenants” – Sue Henry Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENTS:

This happens now or if a person’s circumstances change.
How do people know for how long they are going to be ‘poor’?

CHANGE CONSENT PROCESSES:

Shane Jones – now Rodney Hide have and are changing consent processes through the Resource Management Act.
It appears that the main beneficiaries of this change will be property developers and speculators.

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1991/0069/latest/DLM230265.html?search=ts_act_Resource+Management+Act_resel&p=1&sr=1

INCREASE UNITS FOR OLDER ADULTS:

The first step is not to force them out of existing dwellings, and to stop Government/ Council(s) and Landcorp
from selling off any remaining land.

INSULATION:

“Aucklanders have survived since the 1930s without insulation. Carpets are the most efficient way to stop draughts on bare wooden floors”, suggests Sue Henry Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

GIFT PORTIONS OF COUNCIL LAND FOR HOUSING:

What safeguards are in place to prevent the Auckland Council Property CCO from selling off such gifted land?

WARRANT OF FITNESS:

Does this apply to newer housing – as it arguably should – given that it is the newer houses that are problematic?

“Most older houses, particularly State houses are very structurally sound and there is nothing wrong with them”, Sue Henry Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

SECURITY OF TENURE:

I most definitely support ‘security of tenure’.
Having a stable base / affordable home is pivotal for most people – especially those with families.

“Returned servicemen, their wives and widows were told their house allocations were permanent (ie: for the rest of their lives). Many of us have been rallying for greedy politicians NOT to shift the goal posts. Every tenant should have the right to security of tenure and stability,” Sue Henry Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

Please be reminded that the ‘right’ to housing is a basic human right:

Article 25 (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948)

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

A) An investigation into the possible financing of affordable housing for low-income New Zealanders in the Auckland region with the introduction of an Auckland regional capital gains tax, on owners of multiple properties.

(This would EXCLUDE a single retirement investment property, by ‘Mum and Dad’ investors.)

B) An independent investigation the amount of ‘social capital’ (central government tax) paid by companies operating in New Zealand, with a view to establishing taxation income which could be used to finance low-income affordable housing.

C) In support of the principles of ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government – the establishment of a ‘Register of Interests’ of elected representatives in the Auckland region (and their spouses); and unelected senior Council officers, (and their spouses); property developers, and those on the Boards of CCOs – to prevent ‘conflicts of interest’ and potentially corrupt practices.

Cheers!

Penny

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland
regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

AUCKLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATE

waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

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September 7, 2010 - Posted by | Auckland Mayoral campaign, Fighting corruption in NZ, Human rights

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