OPINION: I am a state house tenant, weighing in on the debate about state house sales.
Yes, I hear the groans – here we go, another state-awarded wanna-have-it-all about to give us all a lecture on what we are doing wrong as a society – but hear me out.
Looking at this idea of selling-off state houses, I have been working on this for a while now: going to every meeting, trying to stand up scream out – “I am a state tenant, I am your most vulnerable.”
I have done this over and over, but while I do this, the Government has dangled more carrots to make it look better for us.
Is it really better for us?
With our houses falling down around us, we would try all we could to engage with those responsible.
Our cries fell on deaf ears, with replies of: ‘‘We cannot afford to fix your home.” “If we streamline and put HNZ with the Ministry of Social Development we may be able to work more efficiently,” and now: “We shall sell some of these houses on to another provider and see if that works.”
All we have now is a broken system, a greedy Government and huge profits to be made and lost, with us as the product.
To quieten our voices there is a new carrot, in the form of the provider who will build 150 houses for the state.
So let’s just say this new provider buys the 2500 houses.
Seems like they can do whatever they would like with them, so long as they build one for one state house. They can demolish one house, put up six and make profit off five, with only one of them being state-owned.
We were not told anything more, except what a good job they have done.
A good job at scaring their people, giving misinformation, leaving us to rot while they decide what will give them the best profit, and worse, becoming more of a nanny state deciding what is best for us.
A lot of us waited months for the most basic of human needs and also living with what one could only describe as a harassment that is wrapped up in an idea we can’t look after ourselves.
If we look hard at the idea of selling these houses we will realise it is a no-brainer, they must be kept in our hands, we need more not less.
We need the Government to fix their systems not sell half of their assets.
We as HNZ tenants are not trying to be greedy, we are not stating we want to keep our houses because they are ours. They are not, they are the country’s houses, they are the safe places for all New Zealanders.
I want this sale stopped.