The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

There has been end­less dis­cus­sion about the ‘‘hous­ing cri­sis’’. Does it ex­ist, and why?

It seems to me that sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of peo­ple liv­ing in cars, or more than a fam­ily in a garage, means there is in­deed a ‘‘hous­ing cri­sis’’.

As to why - it seems clear that there are a se­ries of mar­ket fail­ures in pro­vid­ing af­ford­able homes, both to buy and to rent, and also jobs that pay enough to live on in af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion.

I sug­gest that if th­ese two mar­ket fail­ures were ac­knowl­edged, they could be ad­dressed.

How­ever, this gov­ern­ment doesn’t believe in mar­ket fail­ures and is hand­ing ev­ery­thing over to the profit driven ‘‘mar­ket’’.

Un­for­tu­nately for the bulk of the pop­u­lace, the ‘profit driven’ has never had, nor has any in­ter­est in hous­ing that low in­come peo­ple can af­ford, or in pro­vid­ing jobs that pay de­cent wages for re­al­is­tic hours of work.

That has al­ways re­lied on the ‘‘pub­lic purse’’ (the State and lo­cal bod­ies) and de­cent worker’s rights leg­is­la­tion.

How­ever, this gov­ern­ment and its pre­de­ces­sor doesn’t and didn’t believe in this role. Im­passe!

One day, this sce­nario will change. Here’s hop­ing the present crises which are se­ri­ously im­pact­ing on health, wel­fare and ed­u­ca­tion are suf­fi­cient to drive that. Ian Ritchie Feild­ing

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