Four years ago I made a documentary about what was causing the housing crisis and one of the conclusions I reached was that we maybe asking the wrong question .
Instead of “How can everyone get to own a property?” perhaps we should be asking the question… “How can we give everyone security of tenure over a warm, dry , healthy and affordable place to live?”
Once you rephrase the issue that way, then all sorts of options open up- from state housing and long term leasing to groups of people getting together to take out a joint mortgage on a purpose designed complex.
We are obsessed with the home ownership model because those of us who have somehow manage to get on the property ladder have the privilege of living inside our investment as it accrues far more interest each year than you can possibly get by saving your money in the bank.
If the current Labour government continue to do nothing to halt the rise in property values by pulling some of the tax levers available to them and ignore the wide variety of alternative measures that would give people security of tenure, then the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow with all the incumbent health, crime and social problems thhat brings.
New Zealanders gave a mandate to Labour to be transformative.
In the housing area it seems to me to be business as usual for the haves and more misery ahead for the have- nots.
If you want to watch Who Owns NZ Now? You can find it here
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.