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Promises on housing looking empty

Promises on housing looking empty

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says it is now becoming obvious why Helen Clark failed to provide any real detail around her housing promises this week – there is none.

“When the zoo and the university, along with DOC land, parks and reserves, are among the sites previously identified as being part of the Council and Crown’s property portfolio in Auckland – the promise to free up more urban Public land for affordable housing in our largest city starts looking very thin.

“When Helen Clark spoke this week she already knew her promise to free up more public land in Auckland was no silver bullet. Such a scant amount of work has been done on the idea it’ll be years before first home buyers see any benefit at all.

“Four days after the announcement, the devil is emerging in the detail. It smells a lot like election year desperation.”

Mr Heatley says the Housing Minister has also all but confirmed this week that first home buyers will have to be earning at least $70,000 a year to get into one of Labour’s ‘affordable homes’ at the flagship Hobsonville site.

“This does not meet the Government’s own test for ‘affordable’ housing.

“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?

“Meanwhile, Helen Clark’s other ‘big idea’ of equity sharing has been in the pipeline for years. None of the hard detail about that policy has ever been revealed, although as recently as January Labour said it was only planning a pilot programme from July.

“The tired Clark-led Government continues to ignore the big picture while rolling out gimmicky half-baked policies.

“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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