Johnny Moore: I blame baby boomers for housing mess

For young, working class people living in the major cities, the dream of home ownership is slowly trickling down the ...

For young, working class people living in the major cities, the dream of home ownership is slowly trickling down the gurgler, Johnny Moore writes.

OPINION: There's a housing crisis. Or there's not a housing crisis. Where you stand on this probably depends on what colour tie or blouse you wear to political fundraisers. I think our whole take on housing is anti-human and a symptom of a greater sickness that's going to have to be addressed at some point.

Personally, I blame Baby Boomers for the whole mess. They had their free tertiary education, milk in schools, a huge state housing sector, benefits, baches for poor people and a state that ensured they were clothed, fed and sheltered.

Then they sold the lot. Cashed it all in. They all got a house with a yard for next to nothing and everyone that came after started paying for both themselves and those that came before.

Do you know who is charged with fixing this housing problem? A bunch of upper-middle-class boomers who all own property, many owning multiple properties, some owning property portfolios.

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These guys with a vested interest are going to make reasonable decisions about how to make houses worth less. In other breaking news: the bar industry is to manage liquor licensing, boy racers will deal with the road toll, and possums are to make a pest control plan.

It's not enough that for young, working class people living in the major cities, the dream of home ownership is slowly trickling down the gurgler. No, those in charge constantly feel the need to look at how people are getting around their stupid rules and make up new ones to ensure the power structure stays strong.

I've cracked the old conundrum of why houses are so expensive. It's because the cost of land is expensive and the cost of building is expensive.

Lecherous professionals skim the pot the whole way through and regulatory authorities make rules about rules about rules until you have to hire another professional to interpret the whole mess for you.

There are too many vultures the whole way through the system for meaningful change to happen without a crisis setting it off.

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Let alone the fact some bloke or sheila isn't allowed to pick up a hammer and build a dwelling to live in on land they supposedly own. Am I the only one who thinks it is a human right to build a house to keep the rain off you and your kin's heads?

And don't tell me "you've got to have rules or it'll be chaos". Says who? A bunch of people who write and manage the rules.

Last week that's what the Christchurch City Council building consent department told us. They're cracking down on people trying to get around the cost of building by living in caravans, containers, tiny homes and broken down buses of one-kind-or-another.

Yip, that's how Boomers deal with a problem. They ban innovation and necessity and add a bit of cost and bureaucratic dystopia to people's lives. I hope these guys at least acknowledge their part in a worsening housing crisis, but I suspect they think they're doing us peasants a favour by making life safer.

I've had the misfortune of dealing with the building consent team on a number of occasions and it's an experience I wouldn't wish on anybody. Hopefully in the future their job will be outsourced to robots so that we can inject some humanity into the whole horrible exercise.

No matter how you frame it, cracking down on people trying to stay warm and dry is inhuman, and even yuckier when you think about the fact it's almost exclusively poor people who get stung with this nonsense.

None of the big political parties have any interest in dealing with this issue meaningfully because everyone debating the issue has a vested interest in the status quo.

I would suggest to the Boomers that with their increased life expectancy they're living with when compared to their parents, that they consider the fact they've hopefully got a few more decades stumbling about on this planet.

If they don't learn to share a bit better, the have-nots are going to get mad. And when the poor and disaffected feel really aggrieved, they do things like vote for Donald Trump or Brexit. Who knows how long away it is in New Zealand before we have our very own charlatan promising these people all the free houses they want.

When the mob is banging on your overpriced, cost-added door and baying for blood, don't say I didn't warn you.

* Comments on this story are now closed.

 - Stuff


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