The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


Affordable housing – can we please learn from others!

I am not sure if I am more amazed by this proposed bill being introduced by the Housing Minister to provide for affordable housing or by the only reaction that the media could find to report – that being the Property Council’s view that the outcome of the bill will result in higher building costs as developers, forced to take a lower margin on “affordable” housing pass on this “cost” to regular buyers.

Is everyone missing the point here?

This proposal is unworkable, how would it ever be possible to demarcate a property as “affordable” – it is a house, indistinguishable from any other house. I shudder at the thought of a highly expensive bureaucratic team established to monitor these new “affordable” houses so that some “unscrupulous” owner did not try and sell such a house on the open market and land a sizable profit.IKEA BoKlok House - affordable housing for the UK

The housing market is a private sector open-market economic model driven by supply and demand – for the government to try to intervene is naive at best. Sure there are issues with affordability of homes for young people, but trying to create an artificial market for a designated house is impossible – surely we have some intelligent advisers in our government who could look to see what they can learn from others.

Overseas there are very workable models of assistance in the area of finance to help young people buy a home (of their choosing – not some select group of properties our government want us to buy).

Additionally why not let the market demand encourage developers find new ways to build more efficient modular houses – try looking at the IKEA housing model in the UK. We are not alone in this world in having social and economic problems – how do we let politicians come up with such half baked ideas!

Article Discussion

  1. rooney says:

    Hey mate, you have hit the nail right on the head (to use a very poor pun).
    So let’s add this to the increasingly long list of feminist-nanny-state directives. They tell us how to discipline our children, what food to provide in the school canteen, what we can say in election year, who can say it and how much they can spend and now if we want financial assistance to buy a house they’re going to tell us what house to buy.

    Designated housing in this category will have a very distinctive look about (probably cheap would be a way of describing the style) and all POOR young people will live in these homes.

    What next? All the Jews in houses with Star of David on the door and gays in homes with pink triangles? They may not feel so upset by this because at least they can live behind the door together in a civil union!

    But your point about the level of infrastructure required to create the housing, scruitinise the applicants, verify the developments, oversee the buying and selling of each one let alone the home buyers and developers who will seek to make millions by taking advantage which then brings up issues such as enforcement, prosecution and appeal.

    Surely history has shown us that it discriminates against everyone else to extend welfare in this way.

    What it also does is take away self responsibility so it will create a class of people who have received govt. assistance to buy their first house.

    Why would they ever move out of it and get another?
    Then we will have to build more of these cheap boxes or build them on top of each other.
    If you want to know what that looks like drive down Quay Street in Auckland.

    Just another stupid, badly thought out load of drivel.

    We must banish this Labour regime that has placed NZ in the social experiment labratory. Because we all know this lab isn’t at the cutting edge of science or psychology – it is at some sort-of Institue that gets millions in government funding – except no educational institution anywhere in the world (including Malawi and Uganda)recognises the qualifications they give graduates.

    When is the election? Bring it on

  2. John says:

    Unfortunately this government has not the spark of previous governments in providing affordable housing to people in need. Neither can the people in need rely upon the market. Along with the market the government does not want to really be associated with poorer people, so long as they can pay the rent. The whole supply/demand arguement is falsity, a ploy to placate people’s concern that the market can feel like human being and respond morally. Instead we have an amoral machine making decisions and perverting our sensibilities whilst rewarding us for our pathetic behaviour with trinkets and toys, the trappings of success. If we are to abondon our fellow countryman then let’s at least have a level playing field. Mortgages were based on a single income until the banks figured they could send Mum to work as well, and stuff the kids. In days gone by families could start with a small house and add on, unlike the four bedroom, two bath, double garage, brick veneer, just add water house, we see today. To this end developers should not be allowed to dictate entirely the covenants of a subdivision. Their influence should not be allowed to pertuate once a person has title to the property and thus be prevented from building a modest house for their family realistic to their income. There’s lots more to say, but given the right rules the free market animals can be held back and incompetent meddling government can be prevented from creating yet another useless ministry.

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