Open letter blueprint to Megan Woods to solve housing crisis

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1622

Kia ora Ms Woods,

 

An industrial scale state-house building programme is the only solution to the housing crisis for low-income New Zealanders

The undersigned organisations from across Aotearoa are appealing to the government to reconsider its response to the housing crisis for low-income New Zealanders.

With this crisis so deeply entrenched and so pervasive, many people have been waiting expectantly for the announcement of an industrial-scale state house building programme to tackle it head on.

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However, despite four years of Labour-led governments, there has been no movement on this. The number of state house rentals available has remained largely static (2016 – 67,041 rentals; 2021 – 67,858) while the state house waiting list has soared from 5,000 to over 23, 000.

In his evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal this month (Wai 2750) Kainga Ora CEO Andrew McKenzie says the organisation has an “ambitious programme” over the next four years which will provide a net increase of 8,200 state houses. However, on current figures this will not even keep pace with the increase in housing need, let alone begin to tackle the enormous backlog.

He confirmed that when the Labour led Government came to power in 2017 officials recommended that the previous Government’s public housing budget be increased so state house building would increase from 1600 to 2000 a year but, astonishingly, even this modest recommendation was not taken up by the government.

Mr Mckenzie also detailed that Kainga Ora’s current Long-Term Plan for expanding the stock of State Housing is to add 23,000 additional places over 30 years. This increase is needed now, not decades into the future. He explained that the ability of Kainga Ora to further expand supply is limited by Kainga Ora having to fund additional housing out of its own resources and borrowings.

This means Kainga Ora is involved in large-scale privatisation of crown land for private sector housebuilding – on former state-house land – while the state house waiting list and the misery of families waiting for state housing increases.

The latest budget made no move to shift this dreadful situation. There is no sign the government sees the desperation of low-income New Zealanders for decent housing as a social disaster. Desperate families are facing this crisis alone.

The announcement of $380 million for partnerships with iwi to provide housing for Māori families was welcomed but this funding, delivered over four years, will add little more than 250 houses per year while Māori make up over half the state house waiting list.

We also acknowledge the government has been working with “social housing providers” to increase housing available to low-income tenants and families through groups like the Salvation Army and Methodist Mission. However, as admirable as these arrangements are, only the government has the resources and the capacity to address the scale of the crisis.

Through existing ownership of land, access to Reserve Bank finance (or the lowest-interest commercial finance available) and using economies of scale, the government could build the warm, dry, quality homes needed to end this crisis for our most vulnerable citizens – cheaper and faster than anyone else.

A stand-alone government agency which designs, builds and tenants these homes using Reserve Bank finance is the way forward. Taking this approach in the late 1930s the first Labour government was building 3,500 state houses per year; the equivalent number today would be 10,000 per year. Instead, the government has provided Reserve Bank finance to the private sector banks which has helped fuel the dramatic rises in house prices, and deepen the plight of low-income, private-sector tenants.

Meanwhile across the country we have huge skill shortages in the trades such as in building, plumbing and electrical work and this shortage can be met through a large-scale, government funded and delivered state house building programme. It would become the training ground for a new generation of skilled tradespeople. Were the government to contract out this building to the private sector the ability to train apprentices would be severely restricted.

The positive social, educational and health outcomes are obvious when delivering healthy, accessible, quality homes at speed for desperate tenants and families on low incomes. In this building programme the government should model all aspects of sustainable building, addressing the housing crisis and climate crisis side by side.

This is not an expensive approach – it is a social investment approach which recognises quality housing as a basic human right. It would save billions through reducing the massive spending on motels (over $300 million per year) and in accommodation supplements (over $1.7 billion per year) These subsidies to private sector landlords are “dead money”. Why are we spending billions on propping up a failed housing market while tens of thousands of our people struggle in unaffordable housing?

You have the opportunity to do something now that future generations will see as a crucial moment in solving the ongoing housing crisis in Aotearoa and closing the housing gap.

We will support you to implement this proposal.

We would appreciate receiving a considered response, without unnecessary delay, so we can plan our next steps.

Nā,

Affordability of Housing Committee of the Auckland Catholic Diocese Justice and Peace Commission

Anglican Action

Child Poverty Action Group

Christchurch YWCA

Christchurch Progressive Network

Community Law Centres o Aotearoa

Community Waikato

First Union

Keep Our Assets Canterbury

Manawatū Tenants’ Union

Migrant Workers Association

ME Awareness NZ Team

Methodist City Action

Paekākāriki Housing Trust

Poverty Action Waikato

Public Health Association

Public Health Association Otago-Southland

Save the Children New Zealand

Social Justice Group of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland

SociaLink

Socialist Aotearoa

St Anne’s Pantry – Porirua Foodbank

State Housing Action Network

Students for Healthy Housing As A Basic Human Right

Tauranga Housing Advocacy Trust

Te Whanau o Waipareira

Unions Otago

Unite Union

 

41 COMMENTS

  1. Hello John
    I am sure most of us would sign your letter. It’s very good and your thinking is pretty solid.
    What sort of response are you expecting? Martyn advocates for a Ministry of Works, a good idea, but I think that could have the same problem as Kainga Ora. I watched Chloe Swarbrick present her case for a housing WOF. Turns out Kainga Ora is the biggest offender for unhealthy homes, while forcing private property owners to comply. Incredible hypocrites.
    So I don’t know what sort of stand-alone govt agency could handle your proposal? Probably none under this govt. I don’t think you will even get a response to your letter. If so, it will be written by a minion.

  2. John – politically that wouldn’t work:

    1). The poor already vote Labour
    2). It would remove the requirement for unnecessary bureaucracy where some of their mates get enormous kickbacks

    Removing people out of inter-generational welfare isn’t a vote winner for Labour. Pandering to middle class identity politics is

  3. Would not surprise me if the same people on this petition were also on the Meth committees that led to the fake Meth standards. Until government bother to get away from the woke, third way and right led discourses and committee led approaches on housing and work out that the entire woke, third way and right wing housing policy of the past decades led by lazy immigration has been a disaster! It’s the blind leading the blind in NZ.

    Government and their right wing and woke ‘partners’ also can’t build the houses anymore because there is an absence of building materials and supply chain to build with in NZ, as NZ sold off or given away most of it’s assets and now no longer seems to be able to control anything here anymore. Funny enough you can’t just suddenly ramp up production when you spent decades undermining your skilled workers, tertiary education systems and thinking you can fly in a Ponzi labour force every 5 minutes, who know nothing about NZ, on cheap wages and get quality results.

    The million new residents in NZ don’t seem to have solved all the problems they were supposed to and instead our productivity is even lower with even more skills shortages! So we have another million to house, but weirdly all those valuable skills that they were supposed to provide, seem more absent than 2 decades ago!

    When you get in 5 people to house and give health care and schooling to, on the back of a student visa turned nursing assistant job on minimum wages, you reap what you sow. Likewise there seem to be little benefits to the masses of NZ, of having rich people who invest millions into mansions and retirement property in NZ and retail shops like liquor and takeaways and hotels, then start owning most of NZ’s businesses and assets like water and forestry. You don’t need to know anything about NZ, or speak the language or even live here anymore! Bring your own peasant workforce seems to be the idea to toil in the fields and retail shops while NZ supports their residency applications.

    The woke first blamed ‘mums and dads’ landlords and got rid of them and made the situation far greater, now they are trying to get rid of ‘mums and dads’ farmers who they are blaming for the carbon emissions and take out NZ’s food supply too. Construction is a massive carbon emitter, but zero talk of that!

    Funny enough, no petitions about those chestnuts from the oke, dopey, wokey brigade, coming to light!

    • Back in the day the awakened German noted how people would blame the Jews for their problems – first they came for the Jew …

      • I think the drugged out lazy kiwis are traditionally blamed for all things in NZ…. while anything from overseas is celebrated. Kinda the opposite of the previous Green parties position who wanted to buy locally made Kiwi products, be local etc, …. Just like Labour unions used to want to protect local workers but now want to protect overseas cash workers instead.

        Judging by the growing homeless in NZ and lack of skills here, globalism and blaming Kiwis for everything and wanting more people coming to NZ may work well for woke organisational managers on every committee but not very well for the existing Kiwis many of whom seem worse off and get worse off with every attack on existing housing and food supply with the global trickle down methods.

  4. The combined community/NGO sector approach to this is a great example of a possible way forward, which was trialled by the “letter to Jacinda” by 70 odd such groups calling for immediate benefit increases prior to last Xmas.

    My view is reasoned, researched initiatives should be accompanied by appropriate direct action to put the heat on the Labour Caucus and the new Labour MPs. Occupy selected empty residential and commercial property in a planned and disciplined way and conduct community education and agitation to obtain mass support.

    Ihumatāo was decided in the end by the militant group SOUL linking with allies in their thousands around the country. The cops knew damned well that thousands would have descended upon the site if they had proceeded with their stealth eviction. That is the kind of spirit we need to develop around a push for a State house and apartment mega build. Emergency housing and tiny houses for homeless need to be in the mix too.

  5. Industrial scale housing just fucks thing up more than they they are already fucked-up.

    The answer is to restructure society and utillise all the buildings we already have.

    But ‘no one’ wants to do that -being locked into conventional thinking and incapable of seeing anything outside the self-made box of conventional thinking that the money-lenders instigate in early childhood and promote continuously against the best interests of society.

    So, everything environmental will continue to be made rapidly worse…until it all collapses some time over the next decade.

    Never forget, we are headed for another stone age as a consequence of energy depletion -that’s if conventional thinking doesn’t render the Earth completely uninhabitable for humans, which the most likely outcome, considering the way we are headed.

  6. The kind of scale hinted at here will inevitably mean high rise construction and housing estates in large cities and a lot of those will be in areas where they aren’t there already.
    I remember the cases of Paparaparaumu Beach and Eastbourne where for a long time there was one solitary high rise apartment building. It was a minor miracle that they were ever built because the residents around mounted years of legal challenges trying to prevent it.
    New Zealanders have an inherent hatred of new high rise construction so there will be a lot of difficulties faced getting planning consent for such ventures.
    Another risk is sacrificing quality for quantity and speed.
    We have seen what happens when quality is thrown out the door in the rush to build – sub standard materials used and leaky houses.
    Labour will be quite happy to allow more yuppie housing estates to swallow up prime agricultural land in Pukekohe but will baulk at anything more intensive.
    And National?
    They won’t even think about it.

    • People packed in without their own gardens and building on prime horticultural land, so more housing comes at the price of higher food prices …

      • Yes, SPC.

        And what happens when the industrial food system runs short of food? -already happening- and then completely fails to deliver food? -certain to happen in the near future.

        It’s an unsustainable system getting ever closer to collapse.

  7. If the example here in deepest South Auckland (Rowandale Road are in particular) is anything to go by, simply building more houses is not the total answer.

    The total answer is to build communities. For at Rowandale, where there were once 40 odd 3 bedroom single story dwellings, on 1000 Sq metre sections, state houses, we now have over 200 new state houses. All good you might say, and on paper brilliant.

    Except there is no increase in community infrastructure. The development backs onto Rowandale primary but there are no extra classrooms to cater for the kids. In the development there are no green common spaces with playgrounds. There are no spaces for shops, doctors surgeries, etc. Is nearby James Cook High School (already on of the largest secondary schools in the country) getting extra funding?

    Public transport has not increased. Buses still only run every hour.

    So sure build houses BUT remember to ask “Where Will The Children Play”.

    Massive state housing infrastructure is being built throughout the Mangere/Paptoetoe/Manurewa area but no community infrastructure. No extra roads, no extra public transport, no extra schooling, no extra parks, no extra shops, no extra community centres, no extra libraries, no extra governmental support offices, etc.

    So the poor will be forced into areas where there are no support systems in place, where a car is needed to gain access to the distant services they require to live half descent lives.

    What we need are self sufficient communities constructed, not just houses. For all you will be building is ghetto’s.

    • Public transport will improve with the commuter base, but you are right about the rest if it. Public space will decline – thus the move to all weather grounds. And schools will either lose fields or the classrooms will be multi-story.

      You could add the underground infrastructure – sewage and waste water, may not be able to cope.

  8. The real problem lies with the upper management of the state sector. It is populated by political appointees and talent-less people that have risen to their positions through time served rather than having the abilities required to act with innovation and dedication. The first step MUST be a complete clear out of these lumps of useless crap. These people have no interest in increasing the workload and just want to cruise with the status quo . Just look at he effect of pumping billions into mental health… what do we get? A half dozen extra beds in existing wards. Unfortunately a new stand alone ministry will just be more of the same. Some failed MP will be put in charge and things will move so slow that we will likely end up worse than we are now… We need performance targets and real penalties (job loss not lack of bonus) for failure.

  9. The building industry is at capacity now, very busy times. To increase new build capacity for a Gov’t housing program would required new factories for manufacturing building product. Or existing factories to upgrade and expand to meet demand. These are all private companies that would need contracts to protect their investment. In any case, all very difficult and time consuming. It would take 2 years at least to wind up the infrastructure to build a big housing program on top of current workloads. Few companies could increase output by any significant amount to take on a state housing build, which begs the question. How can any Govt give a green light to such a program without the resources to do it?

    • You declare a state of national emergency and nationalise the fuckers who drag the chain. If its good enough in war to enable killing people its good enough to put roofs over heads.

  10. Remember John. They talk about ‘places’ now which is what their main focus is on. Rooms for temporary accommodation for the homeless at a cost of $900,000 per day. And the already impoverished beneficiary is up for $225000,00 of that cost without accommodation assistance payments to cover that cost! Meaning, MSD ‘loan’ the money to the beneficiary which then creates a debt for them.

    A massive Ministry of Works Housing construction program is needed. Sure there are shortages of labour, building materials and ‘will’.

    I did write to Twyford and met with him a couple of times when he was the Minister of Housing. I said to him,” while Fletchers Constructions share price was at a low of about 71 cents to $1 a share. Wouldnt it be a good time to buy into them massively as a controlling partner/shareholder and that’ll solve the shortage problems?” His response as any useless politician always says, “it’s a bit more complicated than that!”

    And that is the problem with politicians and this government. They have no ability to seize the moment when the answer is obvious, simple and doable!

    As for the likelihood of the government been able to solve anything. All we have to do is take a trip down memory lane to 2017 and look at what this government campaigned on;
    Housing, Homelessness, Poverty, Health and Education.

    2021. What hasn’t changed that needs to be addressed urgently?

    “Housing, Homelessness, Poverty, Health and Education.

  11. Could not agree more.

    This is not an expensive approach, it simply must happen to avoid a growing calamity.

    But this is Labour 2021, Jacinda’s Labour, timid Labour, aligned to free market dogma and winners take all.

    It is clear from Labour’s 4 year inaction, they have no idea how bad housing is on the overall health of NZ. There’s no long term plan, rather a plan to keep this disaster out of the headlines because for Jacinda the communicator, it’s all she knows. When it gets really bad, tinker, ever so slightly and post date the tinkering too to make it symbolic rather than systemic. The “plan” relies a lot on pretending nothing is wrong, a plan about as sophisticated as a 3 year old walking into a room of people with their eyes closed pretending they can’t see them.

    I wonder why people go into politics, because the enormous challenge today, as it has been for years, is housing. And when I look at the likes of Megan Woods I’m betting she wonders why she bothered. Yes she helped Jacinda keep housing out of the headlines unlike the dimwitted Twyford, but half the reason she has even managed that is we all now know no government cares, so why bother engaging someone as pointless as Woods.

    Thing is, as much as this government wants to pretend this disaster away, it’s not going anywhere, the elephant in the room is getting bigger!

  12. Most business in NZ has now become a monopoly situation where ‘favoured’ businesses and individuals are allowed to operate cartels and near monopolies, which in a country NZ’s size quickly becomes dysfunctional! In particular relating to any manufacturing of materials here or supply of them!

    • John, Labour are not performing the miracles needed to fix decades of neglect. Tell us all what National would do? Please explain how the “there is no housing crisis” brigade will sort this out.

      • Wrong GB. It all started in the Clark & Cullen era. They made the middle-class wealthy by telling them to go out and buy houses to become wealthy landlords.
        The Nat’s just took it to the next level. Now, Labour is doing exactly the same as National did to keep the middle-class voters voting for them.

        A Capital Gain at a rate of $100k per month buys you a lot of votes.

    • If you look back to pre 2017, The Daily Blog posts you see, show what real divide looked like. Comments like Brashes alongside Collins most recent comments shows they actually promote a them and us mentality. He’ll even Winnie had had a guts full of neoliberalism. And if Winnie saw the divide then it’s a given.

  13. Sure if we needed 60,000 state houses when our population was 3M, we will need more (100,000) when our population is 5 rising to 6 and a lower proportion will own homes by the time they retire.

    But land, infrastructure and planning are constraints, not just finance and labour (RB and state led building are necessary, not just the current course via improved apprenticeships).

    It requires centralised organisation. And includes factory build.

  14. In our street we had 2 old houses demolished and 6 homes are replacing them . If these were 2 or 3 stories high we would soon see the population in homes without using good farmland. In Chch we have red zone land that you could not build a normal house on but the government would have the resources to compact the ground and build some high rise units . The government also needs to get developers on board to build homes to rent and get ride of the mum and dad 1 off owners who are often poor landlords and cannot afford to do proper repairs and maintenance.

    • Can’t agree more gremlin. As a retired land owner I paid death duty tax in I think the seventies. Even as a right winger Jacinda had me thinking I needed to switch. The day she backed away from CGT with a pathetic whimper blaming NZF she was dead in the water for me. She had the country at her fingertips and couldn’t see it she has no political guts but major’s in political expediency. I could see it then but you’ll never change some peoples thinking.

  15. A big yes again to John Minto. I voted for him in the mayoral election a few years ago because of the free commuter-bus travel. If our leaders are serious about getting us out of or cars then free travel ( or gold coin level maybe) has to happen.

    Same with housing for the disadvantaged – a big and dramatic undertaking is required. The problems raised in posts above are just that – issues to be solved along the way; not excuses for inaction.

    The important point is for the government to say yes we will do this. Then work it through, making sure the developments are fit for family purpose, that supply lines are sorted etc.

  16. In todays paper is a story of the government running a scheme to house mentally ill people . They have spent $1.8 million and housed WAIT FOR IT 3 people !!! that’s right 3 people only 97 more to go .

  17. Fabulous Trevor.
    Green Bus they campaigned on being able to fix the housing problem and they haven’t.
    So why are you asking me to solve the issue that Labour promised they would?

    • Agree with comments above, Labour have done a little tinkering here and there but nothing to fix the housing crisis and in fact it has got a lot worse on their watch. This is going to take a long time to wind up the building industry to be able to build all the 1000’s of new builds required over and above what is currently produced.
      I believe NZ is at building capacity now or thereabouts. We need more capacity to take on a program of state houses or any houses actually. I work in the Frame and Truss industry which is turning work away because we can’t produce enough to meet current demand, and everybody else is the same. Tradies and builders the same. Waiting lists everywhere. None of these additional trades will spring up overnight if mass orders come in for State houses. Immigration may help with staffing but the factories like ours just are not there. Concrete, Timber, Steel and all the rest are hard to get now, everyone is struggling to keep up. It’s a mess and no doubt the result of the neo liberal dream that didn’t work. Labour have been every bit as useless as National with housing. There’s a great opportunity here to create many jobs but neither main party has the will or skill to take on such a large project.

  18. In a nutshell.
    —————

    …’A stand-alone government agency which designs, builds and tenants these homes using Reserve Bank finance is the way forward. Taking this approach in the late 1930s the first Labour government was building 3,500 state houses per year; the equivalent number today would be 10,000 per year.

    Meanwhile across the country we have huge skill shortages in the trades such as in building, plumbing and electrical work and this shortage can be met through a large-scale, government funded and delivered state house building programme. It would become the training ground for a new generation of skilled tradespeople’…

    —————

    And therein lies the question ,… why HAVENT they done this ?

    Neo liberalism, foreign banks, money in back pockets at the expense of all the rest of us.

    THATS why.

  19. Weird how government managed to eliminate homelessness in NZ during Covid. Where there is a will there is a way, but all stopped now that the immediate threat of Covid is abated.

    Developers constructing large apartment developments can apply for an exemption certificate, which allows them to sell up to 60 per cent of the apartments in the development to overseas people as investment properties. The overseas people do not need to apply for OIO consent to buy these apartments.

    NZ is open to copious amounts of people who can buy expensive NZ property while they are not NZ citizens and also apply to import their own workforce into NZ to live to run their estates. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018791897/james-cameron-explains-dairy-cows-on-wairarapa-farm

    Unlike NZ investors, the profits flow out of NZ against NZ investors who the government (and ‘markets’) seems to hate and despise, 80% of NZ investors own only one investment property https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/real-estate/124320645/nearly-80-per-cent-of-landlords-own-just-one-property-data-shows and it double duties as retirement income while helping the rental crisis. It is highly unlikely with NZ low wages and the continuance of the gig economy to pay below minimum wages, https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2021/07/majority-of-gig-workers-earning-below-minimum-wage-survey-finds.html survey and our immigration and IOI policy that supports this.

    The new 10 year bright line test exempts new apartments and new builds which can still be sold and speculated within 5 years.

    Apartments and housing prices will keep going up, because the apartment owners and developers are allowed to both sell 60% of new build apartments to overseas people as investment properties and foreign owners can sell them within 5 years and pay zero capital gains tax. In addition there is an escalation of OIO asset transfers.

    Residents of OZ and Singapore are exempt from being considered overseas people under the OIO rules as well and can buy any NZ property without any restrictions as though they are NZ citizens. So those living in NZ still compete with another 10 million+ people for housing supply here and those people earn a lot higher wages, so it is inevitable what will happen to NZer’s working on NZ incomes… aka they will get poorer and poorer if they stay to work here.

    Doesn’t sound like government and woke are trying to solve homelessness and make affordable housing for Kiwis living and working here on NZ slave incomes! You are better to leave NZ, still!

  20. The biggest stumbling block to getting a mortgage is the deposit.
    The half of us who have to rent (pay someone elses mortgage) have to do so on stifled incomes, this country has been shocking and preventing wage growth, so the bottom half of us getting screwed on incomes are also getting screwed at the bank because we cant create enough income to generate savings because we’re paying rents that are increasing greater than inflation or wage growth, so how about get rid of this deposit BS holding half of us back, maybe a higher interest rate to cover risk? But hell this is just BS in this country. Nothing will change when you have over half of politicians owning more than one property.

    • Finally someone other than Trevor with the common sense to tell it how it really is. Fantastic post. I’d add anyone owning more than one home need a 90 % deposit whilst first home buyers 0 % like the late 90’s early 2000’s.

      • It would stifle investment if people were to be unduly punished regarding their required deposit for more than one home. We don’t want investment in property to be discouraged; rather, we should simply be aiming for the introduction of economic taxation contribution mechanisms such as they have in place in other Western countries, namely Capital Gains Tax and inheritance taxes.

  21. Let me be clear, I am most definitely in support of the government building more state houses. However, I do see some flaws in some of the arguments touted on this and other threads:
    There seems to be a perception that very little warm, dry state houses are being built but in the last year I in w of twenty state houses which were built in my local community, over one hundred in Christchurch, and over two hundred in Auckland. That’s 320 homes in the areas I know about, I haven’t followed it too closely, so undoubtedly there’s homes in areas which I do not know about which have also been built over the last year
    There’s always been all this hype around the number of state houses which were built by previous labour governments. Sure, 3,500 houses a year in the 1930’s was a lot, and the equivalent these days would be 10,000 houses a year, but the Labour government of the 1930’s didn’t have the scale of debt that this current government does, and they did not have to contend with a global pandemic. I don’t think any government in New Zealand had the responsibility of any serious level of debt until at least the late 1940’s
    Lastly, people keep throwing the responsibility at governments. It’s either the government, or it’s a charity, these are the entities which ought to be tackling the housing shortage for those on low incomes, right? But what about the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor? This has increased most, if not all, years since the 1940’s, proving that the 3,500 state houses which were being built each year in the 1930’s, even though it was widely recognised as a massive building program at the time, was still only really a band-aid on a gaping wound, namely because of other political policies which have been introduced over successive decades. GST was introduced and has been increased, going from ten percent to twelve and a half percent and then to fifteen percent, including retail food items, which has adversely affected the poor. Automation saw 870 workers lose their jobs in the space of five days in this country back in 2015. Rates increases have seen low income home owners struggle. High electricity prices has, in the past, seen renters struggle.
    Meanwhile, no CGT, no inheritance taxation, nothing for the wealthy to contribute to the taxation pot.
    My mother grew up in the 1960’s. She grew up in a state house. It was a 1930’s state house. It should have been a 1940’s or a 1950’s state house. But there weren’t too many of them around. Cold, damp, and draughty would be some words to describe it.
    My father also grew up in the 1960’s. He grew up with many, many siblings in a two storey home which his father purchased for a bargain as it was a Cinema in an undesirable location, and then built it into a large, comfortable family home. The regulations for accomplishing such a feat nowadays would quite possibly not be worth the effort of doing it.
    So I am going to say that we need around 6,000 to 7,000 houses to be built each year on a long term basis, and by that I mean for fifty years, for individuals and for families on low incomes.
    And I’m going to say that we need contributions from the wealthy in the form of increased taxation in order to make this plan work, along with government and charity funding.

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