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Housing Minister Phil Heatley Hits the Nail On The Head

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Brian Dalley
Brian Dalley

No more 'state house for life' under new plan.

State house tenants could be evicted if the Govt deemed they no longer needed cheap accommodation, under a new plan proposed by Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

Who in their right mind would expect anything different? I can’t believe a general assessment hasn’t played a part in each and every review.

The plan would see tenants' situations reviewed every three, five or 10 years, in an effort to free up state houses for people in greater need. I would have thought even three years too long but ten?

We are talking about an industry in the billions here so let’s not be to PC. What’s wrong with linking the review to the IRD which is calculated annually and if a red light appears the file gets reviewed plus spot audits. A lot can happen in ten years.

Circumstances change and people should expect that this will in some way influence their lives. Change is the only constant in our lives that is guaranteed so people need to get their heads around that.

However, I am not entirely convinced that moving people on after years in a place they call home is the ideal option.

I think a little more consideration should be given to those that treat the home as theirs and keep the home in a good state of repair and maybe simply increasing the rent to market level would be a more viable solution.

This would encourage people to look after the properties resulting in less being spent on repairs and the extra money received could be used to offset the cost of building new housing.

Without a cash injection from somewhere, Housing New Zealand will continue to struggle so maybe they should get more involved in the rental market as opposed to leaving it to private investors who over time have made a great deal of money whist the government makes a huge lose at the tax payers’ expense. Go Figure.

On the flip side should the tenants not look after the property, then by all means move them on. It is not a big ask to keep a property tidy.

Both National and Labour agree there needs to be more housing but simply building more homes is not going to cut it.

Housing is a billion dollar industry and its time it is managed as such.

What first needs to happen before anything is built, sold, or transferred is an audit to ascertain current occupancy levels and how the existing stock can be better utilised.

This may sound like I am pushing my own barrow again but I would welcome the opportunity to oversee such and audit as an independent consultant. I think this change gives us a great opportunity to bring families back together and generally house more people.

For example, building granny flats to house parents within the confines of their family for starters could save the country millions and yes there is sufficient data available to back that up.

Bottom line I think Mr Heatley is on the right track but it does worry me a little that he will get sidetracked as he has done in the past with other seemingly great incentives.

Brian Dalley is a former NZMBA Mortgage Broker, Property Investor, and Real Estate Agent with over 15 years experience in the industry. You can read more of his and other professional’s views and opinions on his website  

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