Larry Williams on housing

Larry Williams makes some sensible prognostications on housing and politicians.

Nobody can surely claim that our welfare system is unfair. To the contrary, we have a world class welfare system with accommodation supplements, Working for Families and other welfare payments. Compared to other countries, our welfare system is generous.

I suspect that is part of the problem. This country’s intergenerational welfare is integral to many of the social problems we have today. Labour have been leaders in this.

Welfarism is what has allowed society to develop segments in it that think it is the role of the government to fund their massive families and provide all the accomodation for them as well. Poverty is almost universally caused by having too many mouths to feed in this country. We have the lowest unemployment figures in a  generation and yet rampant ‘poverty’ and in almost every case there are many, many mouths to feed.

Little’s answer to homelessness is more welfare, a massive building programme for affordable housing, building more state houses rather than selling them off, and a clampdown on offshore speculators forcing house prices out of the reach of families.

Memo to Mr Little:

1. The offshore speculator xenophobia that was dredged up by Labour was found to be a fiction just the other week.
2. These people living in cars will never be house buyers. Prices will always be out of reach. They are lifetime renters.
3. A house is a house is a house. The state doesn’t need to own that house.

The extreme welfare cost in accommodation supplements is problematic. It costs $2 billion a year with 60 per cent of landlords subsidised by the government. The cost is out of control already. It is one of the reasons why we have runaway house price inflation – investors seeking tax advantages as well as government subsidies.

However, those serious issues aside, there is no question that there is an urgent need for more social housing and this should be addressed in the budget.

The only way to get enough social housing stock is by building high-rise housing estates like they have overseas. We need volume and scale and that is surely the only way to achieve it.

Building more state houses on quarter acre blocks is not the answer to social housing.

We are now at the point where someone has actually said that we need tower blocks. They haven’t been too flash in the UK in creating estates of poverty and poor quality housing blocks, but that is the reality now.

Rest assured some NIMBYs will use the RMA to stop it though…and the problems will continue.

But Larry Williams is right. The state isn’t the answer here. The state has failed. We created this mess through welfarism.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.