Monday, August 10, 2015

Housing sudsidies thwart welfare reform

It was disappointing when Paula Bennett was moved from MSD to Housing. But below partially explains why. Housing reform is critical to the success of welfare reform. As critical as the availability of jobs.

The following information appears in an Aide Memoire: Meeting with Hon Bennett and Hon Heatley regarding financial support for Housing, 9 May, 2012

The relative generosity of HNZC housing can act as a disincentive for people to move into the private rental market – on average non-HNZC tenants receive around $100 less in housing subsidy than HNZC tenants. Around half of HNZC tenants have been in their house for more than 5 years.
It's much cheaper to live in a state house. A good part of the waiting list is probably made up of private renters who want to save money. Of course people stay in them.

But the problem doesn't end with state houses.

Financial assistance for housing may reduce geographic mobility and ability to take advantage of job opportunities - equivalent state housing in the high demand areas like Auckland may not be available and private rents may be unaffordable. In addition, housing affordability outcomes for non-HNZC tenants are better in remote rural areas, whilst those living in fast growing areas and cities are worse off.

Non-HNZC tenants are those receiving accommodation supplement to rent in the private sector (or board). MSD used to annually release data on who receive AS but ceased when the Statistical Report stopped. Here's the 2012 breakdown:

Most AS recipients also receive a benefit.

Getting a job often involves facing  extremely high EMTRS due to losing AS, and,
Affordable housing isn't where the jobs are.

While this reality remains many beneficiaries, particularly single parents, will continue to live in areas where there are few employment opportunities and their children grow up thinking living on a benefit is the norm. Exactly the mindset welfare reform seeks to break.


gravedodger said...

One factor where I concur with the current drive to make the "housing assistance' more transportable revolves around the serious necessity for people to move for work opportunity, That is seriously compromised with the "state house" locked into a ghetto far removed from where demand for workers exists.

Anonymous said...

Exactly the mindset welfare reform seeks to break.

well we know how to break it: close down HCNZ, sell of all the houses, stop the accommodation supplement, and stop the other benefits.

Anonymous said...

You will only be happy when you see people starving in the streets, like a third world country. What happened to you? What damaged you so, that you have nurtured such hatred in you?

You are a very sad, pitiful, damaged person. I feel incredibly incredibly sorry for you.

I hope that somehow, some way a ray of happiness comes into your life, and banishes the hate.

I fear though- that you only attract hatred & bitterness.