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Housing: Putting the Kiwi dream back in reach

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

9 September 2008

Housing: Putting the Kiwi dream back in reach

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says keeping the Kiwi dream of home ownership within reach is a central focus of National’s housing policy.

“When it comes to home affordability nothing can substitute for things like keeping interest rates lower, raising after-tax incomes, disciplined government spending, and reducing red tape. That will be front and centre for a National-led Government.”

A National–led Government will also take more direct steps to restore the Kiwi dream of home ownership. It will:

• Free up the supply of suitable land, issue a National Policy Statement that ensures local councils plan for a forward supply of suitable land zoned for housing, and make it easier to redevelop land already inside town and city limits.

• Allow state house tenants to buy the house they live in, and maintain the state housing stock by reinvesting all money from these sales in replacement houses.

• Develop new Gateway Housing as an option for some First-home buyers. Recipients will have the free use of a 'ready-to-build' leased section for a maximum of 10 years as long as they start building within one year. After 10 years, or earlier if they wish, owners will have first right to purchase the land at its original capital value plus 3% for every year they have occupied it. This equates to a significantly subsidised low interest loan for the land.

• Continue with the Shared Equity pilot. Applicants under consideration will have the choice of pursuing shared equity or switching to the Gateway Housing Initiative.

• Boost the Housing Innovation Fund. Significantly boost the Housing Innovation Fund in support of community housing providers who have a proven record of helping people into rental accommodation and home ownership.

National’s policy on rental properties and Housing New Zealand will:

• Keep income-related rents for state house tenants and better manage the state housing stock. Boost investment in the upgrade of state houses to a decent standard, improving their insulation, ventilation, and energy efficiency, and make better use of larger houses and properties, and redevelop under-utilised sections. National will also establish a pro-active Options and Advice Service and assist community groups by providing living and office accommodation with associated rent relief.

• Maintain the Accommodation Supplement to help low income earners with board, rent, or mortgage costs, and make sure it keeps pace with rising rents and regional variations.

• Encourage the supply of decent rental accommodation by balancing the needs of tenants and landlords and ensuring it's easy for families and landlords to secure long-term rental agreements, and retain existing tax rules and deduction provisions for rental property owners.

“National is determined to ensure future generations have the same opportunity for home ownership and wealth creation that previous generations had.”


ENDS


For one page summaries and Housing Policy visit:
http://national.org.nz/files/2008/Home_Affordability.pdf
http://national.org.nz/files/2008/Housing_NZ_Rental_Accomodation.pdf
http://national.org.nz/files/2008/Housing_Policy_Paper.pdf

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