Monday, March 23, 2015

Sallies say NO

Not long ago I wrote, in personal correspondence (I thought it was on the blog, but no):

I am confused by the social housing policy. Or more correctly, confused about whether I approve. There is sense in a  family mentor also being the landlord eg Salvation Army and addiction services, and to a degree they already operate thus. But do they want to expand their landlord role significantly? The bigger their clientèle becomes, the more difficult it is to control. As evidenced by the problem English is trying to solve.
So it was unsurprising to read in the NZ Herald this morning that the Sallies will not be progressing the idea of buying state houses from the government.

...  Major Campbell Roberts, of the Salvation Army, says the church organisation does not believe "the lives of tenants would be sufficiently improved by such a transfer".
Nor did it have the "expertise, infrastructure and resources to successfully manage any social housing transfer of size", he said.
"It's just that to take on a significant number of houses is a very complex operation ... the numbers require huge inputs of capital." Housing NZ was in an appalling state, he said.
And he will know that at least some degree of that "appalling state" is due to tenant damage or neglect. The benefits of repairs and maintenance are short-lived.

What can the government do?  Those tenants that abuse property tend to be anti-social and lower the quality of life of their neighbours, also state house tenants. No doubt they can or have been identified.

Perhaps as MSD re-adjusts tenancies to meet need, it could also put 'undeserving' tenants together in the same location where they could collectively absorb each other's disruptive dysfunctionality thereby relieving  other innocent parties. The opposite of pepper-potting. What a heretical thought.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the talk of bringing old homes up to current code and increased obligations on landlords is putting them off? It may just be waffle at present but the left seem to want to make life as a landlord tougher than at present. As the stock the govt wants to quit looks to be the older stock who would want to take a punt on buying it when its possible that you will have to spend a fortune on upgrades for no increase in return from already difficult tenants?


Brendan McNeill said...

"In 2006 it was revealed that Smashed windows, graffitied walls and rubbish-strewn properties have contributed to a record state house repair bill of $21 million.

Damage caused by tenants accounted for $16.7 million of the total cost – while $3.8 million of damage was caused by 'third parties', figures issued by Housing Minister Chris Carter reveal."

Nine years on it would difficult to imagine the annual repair bill is less than in 2006. No wonder the Salvation Army don't want to go there, and neither do many Iwi from what I can see.

Why do we bother to repair them. Just let these people live in their rubbish and their dysfunction, and refuse them any alternative accommodation until they repair their own damage. But then maybe they just wouldn't care either way.

JC said...

The Sallies are being sensible.. from their POV.

They can hardly be a critic and player at the same time.

They know that only the taxpayer can afford the horrendous costs of maintenance and control of tenants.

They know that it wouldn't be long before they suffered the same political attacks as the Govt gets about state housing.

Its much safer to sit on the sidelines with your hand out and then criticize the bejesus out of the donor(s).


Anonymous said...

What can the government do?

1. terminate the income-related rent policy

2. liquidate HCNZ.

3. termiante all state rentals

4. sell all state houses as is, where is, on trademe, as one simultaneous sale process, with absolutely no development covenants whatsoever.

There, that's not so hard is it?