Progressive Thinking: Ten Perspectives on Housing

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Over the ten chapters, and one case study, our contributors consider everything from land and building costs to the inter-generational effects of the tax system on New Zealand’s housing markets; from renters’ rights and the housing needs of people with disabilities to the role of the state and local government in solving the problem.

Housing book 2017 cover

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WHAT: Progressive thinking: ten perspectives on housing is a sister publication to our booklet Ten perspectives on tax that we published in May of this year.  It’s a collection of journalistic essays examining the housing crisis from ten leading New Zealand authors, academics and campaigners.

Over the ten chapters, and one case study, our contributors consider everything from land and building costs to the inter-generational effects of the tax system on New Zealand’s housing markets; from renters’ rights and the housing needs of people with disabilities to the role of the state and local government in solving the problem.

A few recurrent common themes emerge during the booklet – the centrality of affordable, secure, quality housing to the health and wellbeing of our communities, for example, or the need for us to think very differently about housing provision in the future. Several authors argue that the private market will not provide affordable housing of the type and volume that we need, and that the government needs to step in to fulfil this function.

OVERVIEW: Foreword by Glenn Barclay & Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretaries

  1. Housing and Health by Philippa Howden-Chapman
  2. Affordability – where next? by John Tookey
  3. Innovating our way out of New Zealand’s housing disaster by Jess Berentson-Shaw
  4. The soft privatisation of state housing  by Alan Johnson
  5. Beyond the quarter acre section  by Bill McKay
  6. Luck and love: housing and disability by Esther Woodbury
  7. No country for young men or women Andrew Coleman
  8. The forgotten 50%  by Robert Whitaker
  9. Case Study: Māori Housing Movements by Jade Kake, edited by Victoria Crockford
  10. Local Government and the housing crisis  by Shamubeel Eaqub
  11. The Human Right to Adequate Housing by David Rutherford

WHY: Housing is a big issue for our members.  In a survey last year, they ranked housing as a priority concern in the run-up to the election.  In subsequent surveys this year they’ve told us of significant stress caused by the cost, availability and quality of housing.  We’re concerned about the wellbeing of our members, and what will happen to our urban centres when core public and community sector workers can no longer afford to live in them. We think it’s time for a great leap forward in the way that we plan, design and deliver housing in New Zealand; this book is a contribution to one of the most important debates of recent years.