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Labour’s affordable homes not so affordable

Philip Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

14 February 2008

Labour’s affordable homes not so affordable

National’s Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the Housing Minister all but confirmed that first home buyers will have to earn at least $70,000 a year to get into one of Labour’s ‘affordable homes’.

“Of course the average household income is less than $70,000. Yet that will be the minimum income required to service a mortgage in the flagship Hobsonville development.

“By HNZ’s own definition, affordable housing is targeted at low to modest income earners. Yet Labour’s ‘affordable’ homes are being targeted at those earning above the average household income.

“The irony is, of course, that when it comes to taxation, IRD treats individuals earning more than $60,000 as rich.”

Mr Heatley says the Housing New Zealand admission makes a mockery of plans to “heavy” developers into building ‘affordable’ homes through legislation.

“If Housing New Zealand can’t build homes for low to modest income earners when it enjoys the economies of scale as it does at Hobsonville, what chance do small-scale developers have?”

Mr Heatley says only days after Helen Clark announced an ‘affordable’ housing programme, the “devil is emerging in the detail”.

“The tired Labour Government continues to ignore the big picture.

“Labour refuses to make it easier for private landowners to subdivide their land, it won’t reform the RMA or significantly streamline the Building Act to reduce compliance costs, and it isn't addressing those two issues faced by many families struggling with increasingly overwhelming mortgages - low take-home pay and the second highest interest rates in the developed world.”


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