Buying your own state house

by frog

It’s not often I agree with National on the issue of state housing but I reckon its policy as apparently described by Phil Heatley yesterday seems fairly sensible:

Housing spokesman Phil Heatley told a Housing Institute seminar in Waitakere yesterday that National would give back to Housing New Zealand tenants the right to buy their houses.

They had this right until the Labour Party won the 1999 election.

But he said National would not sell state houses to outside investors, as it did in the 1990s, and would use the proceeds of sales to tenants to buy or lease new state houses.

“If they purchase their state home, we will replace that home within the housing stock so as to lift someone else off the waiting list,” he said.

 National has also said it will retain the policy of fixing rents at 25% of tenants’ income.

The two key parts of the policy for me that make it acceptable are:

  • it should only be the people living in the home that have the right to buy it, not outside investors and speculators.
  • and the proceeds from the sale of the house should be used to buy to build more state houses to replenish the existing stock. Increasing the housing sock in this way may even help lower rents over time.

It would also allow the government to eventually spread state houses more evenly throughout our towns and suburbs rather than creating clusters of state house suburbs separated from the rest of the community and possibly ghettoised. It’s important though that we also significantly increase our state housing stock to help people who currently are struggling from unaffordable accommodation.

In the end the proposal has the potential to be a good system for for getting people into their own homes.

frog says

Published in Environment & Resource Management by frog on Wed, July 23rd, 2008   

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