Community Crofting, a new form of lease with security of tenure, opportunity lost

It is my understanding, that in USA, a perfectly livable house on several acres (which I might call a “hobby farm, or a livestyle block, but which some people may call a homestead etc “room for a pony” as Hyacinth Bucket would say on the tv show comedy) I understand that within a short drive to a USA large town or reasonable city would cost about $50,000. In NZ you’d be looking at about $1 million.

Probably even more than that in Aussie and UK. Of course if people live in the USA they risk being shot dead by poolice, no questions asked, if found committing offences like “being black in a public place”. If you’re just being disresepctful to a poolice officer, you may get to survive being tasered multiple times and pepper-sprayed from a giant flyspray size can (none of those little wee lipstick sized pepper-sprays for US “law enforcement”.

It sickens me to my stomach that the NZ govt bulldozed 12,000 houses (in Chch’s ‘red zone”) just as fast as it could get the bulldozers around there, instead of saving say 4,000 of the completely un-damaged, and least damaged houses, and making them available at a ‘peppercorn rent’ for cheap housing under a special  new “community crofting” leasehold arrangement (that could have been devised). A new form of lifetime lease with security of tenure, but without the ability to make a profit from the house. These houses could have been released onto the market, some perhaps incorporating the surrounding empty sections where houses had been demolished, so as to give half-acre and acre lot sizes.

Currently in New Zealand, residential tenants can by evicted with  just 42 days notice. Especially during times of housing availability and affordability crisis, and with many thousands of people on government housing waiting lists, this does not give tenants long enough to secure alternative accommodation.

A golden opportunity was shit out the arxehole and flushed down the toilet, just to prop up and increase Christchurch’s house values. The flow-on effects from Christchurch having a large pool of affordable  rental housing and stable long term communities (that long term, security of tenure that “community crofting” leases  would give), would also have helped reign in Auckland’s rampaging house price inflation (and Christchurch’s not-quite-as-rampaging house price inflation).

Here’s yet another article on the housing un-affodability crisis in Auckland (and to a lesser extent, all of NZ) from the Auckland Herald Newspaper’s NZHerald website.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11608130

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3 thoughts on “Community Crofting, a new form of lease with security of tenure, opportunity lost

  1. (J) Interesting use of the word crofting. In UK, especially in Scotland, croft means land held for purposes of subsistence horticulture – usually part-time: it is land, not buildings. (A croft house is the designated house of the croft ear and family.) You may be interested in community projects in Uk like Lammas in Pembrokeshire, recently featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. there are also urban equivalents – eg in Brighton (also on Grand Designs – a few years ago). If you’re interested I can send you links

    • Thanks for your comment. I “appropriated” the word “crofting” because I think in Australia and New Zealand we need to invent a new form of “tenure”, that gives the security of “owning” land vs the insecurity of tenants on 28 day or 42 day leases. It is well known that society is much the better when people move around less, indeed often inheriting their parents’ places, building connections within the local community. It seems ridiculous that Australia is suffering from a severe land shortage ! Clearly this has been deliberately designed as a way of pushing up land, and therefore house prices. NZ the same. Allowing people to have security of tenure, but NOT allowing them to flog it off a few years later and walk away with a tax free doubling of their money every 5 years, would add stability to the housing “market”. People spend $20,000 doing up a kitchen so the house then sells for $30,000 higher price. There’s still only one house available for someone to purchase (for themselves or to rent out). This amounts to a waste of the Earth’s resources and increasing house prices. Instead, how about just spending $2,000 on the kitchen to fix things that are worn out and need fixing ! Sorry I hadn’t been logged into my Blog for awhile and only just saw your comment. It’s a dream of mine to visit the Hebrides, Orkney, Shetlands and Falklands, but dunno if it’d ever happen.

      • It’s good to feel hefted to land and place. The value of what we contribute to and the rewards we receive from community and land are not merely a question of money, but also of values and priorities. Your response was worth the wait!

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