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National sides against aspiring homeowners

National sides against aspiring homeowners

National's claim the government is lauding its new housing bill as the silver bullet to the housing affordability problem is simply wrong - but it's part of the solution and aspiring homeowners won't be impressed National voted against it,
says Housing Minister Maryan Street.

The Affordable Housing: Enabling Territorial Authorities Bill had its first reading today and is designed to stimulate the provision of more affordable housing for first-home buyers and modest-income families in the rental market.

"Rapidly escalating property prices have seen the rate of homeownership fall from 74 per cent to 67 per cent between 1991 and 2006. If the trend continues this rate will fall to about 62 per cent by 2016.

"New Zealanders are worried about the issue and want something done as National leader John Key has himself acknowledged. Yet National voted against the Bill today, with its MPs complaining about how it would affect developers rather than focusing on protecting the long-cherished Kiwi Dream of homeownership, "Maryan Street said.

"Mr Key spoke last year of his concern about people who are "locked out of everyday New Zealand" life, yet when he has a chance to support legislation aimed at building more affordable housing, which is fundamental to addressing the concerns he raised, he sides with the property developers instead!"

"Of course National has failed to come up with any real policies itself and if its Housing spokesman Phil Heatley's speech in the House today was indicative of its understanding of the issue, it appears unlikely this will change."

"He claimed the government was lauding the bill as the silver bullet for the housing affordability problem, when I've said on numerous occasions that the bill is only one of a number of tools needed to address what is a very complex problem."

"There is no one silver bullet. Neither is there just one cause behind the problem, although Mr Heatley seems convinced it is all about land supply shortages which is overly simplistic. This Bill is part of broader work being undertaken by the government on housing issues. It provides a solution to one part of the affordability problem and other initiatives will follow," Maryan Street said.

ENDS

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