Holly Walker

Nail in the coffin of state housing in Sandringham

by Holly Walker

Last month I blogged about the sale of Housing New Zealand land in Haverstock Road, Sandringham, where – instead of redeveloping its land into a groundbreaking mixed housing development – Housing New Zealand was flogging off a huge parcel of land to the highest bidder.

I visited the site on 25 March, and this is what it looked like:

Me in front of former state houses in the process of being demolished on Haverstock Road

Me in front of former state houses in the process of being demolished on Haverstock Road

Haverstock road properties

The properties recently sold on Haverstock Road

Haverstock road houses

Haverstock Raod properties in the process of demolition

The latest, tragic, development is the news today that the land has sold for a total of $8.76 million.

I think this is a terrible waste. Housing New Zealand already owned the land, and could have invested in an affordable, efficient, accessible housing development, containing a mixture of social housing along with homes for private sale, and homes that could be used for a “rent to buy” scheme such as that advocated in our Home for Life proposal. It would have allowed the community to flourish, not forced those on low incomes out into other areas of the city.

Housing New Zealand says it will use the money from the sale to build 40 new houses, but not in the same area. And remember, this is the agency that is supposed to be building 2000 new state houses in the next two years, but only managed to build 68 last year. I remain highly sceptical about its ability to deliver on this promise, and even if it does, the Minister has admitted that it won’t result in a net increase in the number of state houses – they are too busy demolishing and selling them all around the country.