Minor changes to existing provisions!

Something crazy happens at the moment. A tenant takes her landlord to the Tenancy Tribunal because it’s below legal standards: it’s damp, for example. The Tenancy Tribunal concludes, “yes, that’s illegal”. The Tribunal… Continue reading

How high is the rent?

A couple of weeks ago, the worrying issue of high rents in Christchurch came to renewed attention when Trademe reported that rents had risen 14% in Christchurch over the past year. Minister of… Continue reading

What to do about renting

There’s a lot of bad press about renters. At one end of the extreme there’s Renters, a show about “the dirtiest, dimmest and most despicable renters imaginable” which warns you against even living… Continue reading

The sale of council housing in Hamilton

From next week, community housing providers have the option of purchasing Hamilton City Council pensioner housing. What does this mean for the future of social housing in Hamilton? Social housing (housing provided at… Continue reading

The unwritten laws of housing affordability

“There used to be a sort of unwritten law that a man should give a day’s pay for a week’s rent, but that cannot be done now.” – Alfred Washer, House and Land… Continue reading

Building houses for poor people in 1912 and 2012

The New Zealand Government was concerned about the cost of living/housing, and directed Commissions to investigate the issue. One of the conclusions of both Commissions, a century apart, are remarkably similar. Industry does not… Continue reading

Activism for state housing

The government’s plans to sell state housing to community housing providers only come as a surprise to some. As Alan Johnson from CPAG has pointed out, the government was talking about this long before… Continue reading

What Dunedin students and Buenos Aires tenement dwellers have in common

Life was hard for renters in Buenos Aires in the early twentieth century. Tenants lived in poorly ventilated, crowded, noisy rooms, with few facilities and high rents. The poor conditions prompted 120,000 renters… Continue reading

The (lack of) evidence to support stock transfer

The government’s policy on the transfer or sale of state housing to community housing organisations is getting a lot of attention lately (I wrote about the end-of-this-era here back in May). I voiced… Continue reading

Life in severe housing deprivation in New Zealand

There’s a lot in the news about housing this week. But the story that I read this week that I keep thinking about is the one on a coroner’s report. The tragic event… Continue reading