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Affordable Housing Bill backfires

Affordable Housing Bill backfires

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says Housing Minister Maryan Street should withdraw her Affordable Housing Bill.

“If it makes houses more expensive, what’s the point?

“This Bill is drawing strong criticism from those that would have to implement it. They’re telling us it simply won’t work. Industry groups, such as master builders are also opposing the bill.”

Mr Heatley is commenting after stinging criticism from Local Government New Zealand, alongside councils in Auckland, Christchurch and Nelson.

“When the purpose of the bill is to make housing more affordable, and the councils who would administer it are telling us it’ll leave some New Zealanders paying more for their homes – there is a fundamental flaw.

“It’s time for the taxpayer to cut its losses on this piece of legislation as it stands.”

Mr Heatley says this is yet another area where Labour’s over-promised on home affordability and under-delivered.

“Take home equity. It has been announced a dozen times since 2004. However, we still don’t know how fundamental components of this scheme will be organised, like how will the capital gain, or loss, be shared?

“Or take the flagship Hobsonville housing project. It has been in the pipeline for years, and at $350,000 a pop, the homes don’t even meet the Government’s own affordability test.”

Mr Heatley says after more than eight years in office, Labour’s being pressured into making election year announcements on housing which are largely Band Aid measures.

“Shane Jones is now promising even more changes to the Building Act which has already been back before Parliament twice. Labour’s ‘new’ policy is to unpick some more of the bureaucratic nonsense it put in place. In other words, Labour got it wrong, and it now wants home buyers to be grateful.

“It appears to have taken until election year for Labour to discover the mess they have made for home buyers who are now up to their necks in debt because government policies have piled on the costs.

“When you weigh up the size of the problem, Labour’s re-packaged policies are sadly going to be too narrow to make a real difference to the vast bulk of home buyers. They are a belated admission of failure.”


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