Housing Crisis For The Poor Deepens.
Last month I was invited to give my lecture on inequality in Kaitaia. On the way I stopped of in Whangarei to interview Adrian Whale who runs the Te Tai Tokarau Emergency Housing Trust.
(Thanks to the great team at Channel North by the way for organising and filming for me).
Te Tai Tokarau Trust helps over a hundred families each year by putting them up in a former motel, but the numbers of people in desperate need are now growing so fast hey cannot meet the demand.
Affordable accommodation for very low income families has pretty much dried up in Whangarei - in large part because of Aucklanders who have cashed in on the high prices of property in their city and have moved north .That's increased the price of properties and pushed up the rents in Whangarei and even, I discovered, in Kaitaia.
There are many steps we could take to fix this problem.
A government backed rent -to -own scheme to build new homes ( like the one we once operated through the State Advance loan scheme in the 50's and 60's).
We could impose a serious Capital Gains Tax on investment properties ( 40% if you sell within 10 years would be my suggestion) or we could put a financial transaction tax on all financial transactions other than on personal bank accounts to fund social housing .
Why aren't we doing that? Because the current system suits the rich very well.
Want to join the discussion?
Who is Bryan Bruce?
Bryan Bruce is an award winning documentary maker, and best selling author. Born in Scotland in 1948, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956. He grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with an M.A. in Sociology and Philosophy and Christchurch Teacher’s College where he earned a Diploma in Teaching.
Bryan is best known for his work on 'The Investigator' documentary series, 'Inside Child Poverty' and 'Mind The Gap'.