Government’s social housing privatisation plan takes another hit

The government, together with the district council, investigated selling the Horowhenua state houses and 115 council-owned pensioner units as a package.

However, Housing New Zealand Minister Bill English said consultation with local iwi identified complications. The government had decided not to proceed.

Mr English said the two iwi involved had not settled their Treaty of Waitangi claims.

“The government’s social housing reform programme has always been about improving the lives of our tenants, and, in this case, a transfer was going to throw up too much uncertainty for many of those involved,” Mr English said.

Predictably, Twyford has gone silly

Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said it was time the government stopped selling state houses.

Mr Twyford said it was the second sale to fail, after the government could not find a buyer for 348 state houses in Invercargill.

“It is untenable for National to be flogging off hundreds of state houses when the country is in the grip of a housing crisis and communities are struggling to cope with rising homelessness.”

A change of ownership does not change the number of homes available for rent. ?Typical socialism from Labour that believes the perfect system would have all housing centrally owned.

Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton said it still intended to sell its pensioner units to a community housing provider. It would seek expressions of interest next year.

“The fact that it hasn’t come to fruition, whilst it might be disappointing, it’s understandable.

I’ve always felt the Government had an uphill battle trying to sell the nation’s worst tenants to private providers. ?A large portion of these people have already made themselves unwelcome in the private rental market, and yet the government thinks this makes them a marketable proposition for someone to run a profit-making business around social housing.