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Report shows need for affordable housing action

29 February, 2008 Media Statement

Report underscores need for affordable housing action

The CHRANZ report on declining home ownership rates and the impacts of the trend further underscores the need for the government’s plan to increase the affordable housing supply, says Housing Minister Maryan Street.

Maryan Street welcomed the research in the report released today by CHRANZ (Centre for Housing Research, Aotearoa New Zealand), which raised a number of issues already of concern to the government.

For instance, the report “The Falling Rate of Home Ownership in New Zealand” raises questions about the potential growth of wealth inequalities between generations as a result of the decrease..

“The Labour-led government has conducted extensive research into the reasons behind the drop in home ownership rates and the various policy options which might turn the trends around,” Maryan Street said.

“This resulted in the package of initiatives unveiled earlier this month, which marked the beginning of a bold new direction in housing policy in New Zealand. The action plan aims to boost the supply of affordable housing being built to make it easier for families to buy their first homes,” she said.

“It includes establishing large scale housing developments arising from partnerships between central and local government, and the private sector.
New agencies may be established to facilitate the developments and public land holdings are being reviewed to see what land might be available.

“The not-for-profit sector will be strengthened to provide more affordable rental and owner-occupied houses for lower-middle income families or individuals in high cost areas and a shared equity scheme will be launched in July.

“Regulatory costs will also be evaluated and simplified design and building consent costs for starter homes are being considered.The Affordable Housing: Enabling Territorial Authorities Bill now before Parliament will also assist in increasing the affordable housing supply in some areas,” Maryan Street said.

ENDS

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