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Govt’s epic fail on affordable housing

Labour Leader David Shearer

17 May 2013

Govt’s epic fail on affordable housing

National’s plan to tinker with land supply is an epic fail in the eyes of tens of thousands of New Zealanders desperately trying to buy their first home, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“Fiddling with land supply is all well and good but it won’t help first-time buyers reach their dream of home ownership. Some land may be freed up in Auckland, but it’s inevitable that developers will build more expensive homes on it rather than affordable starter houses.

“House prices have gone up in Auckland by 36% since National came into office. $750,000 homes an hour’s drive from the city are not an answer to that crisis.

“We also see the Government’s so-called ‘ambitious’ housing plan already falling apart with the news that the Auckland accord is unravelling because of National’s arrogant approach to local government.

“This is a disaster for National. They ramped up expectations, giving people false hope, but experts are already confirming their approach won’t bring prices down..

“In contrast, Labour has a bold and innovative plan for tackling the housing crisis. Through KiwiBuild, we will build 100,000 affordable homes and introduce a capital gains tax to discourage property speculators who are jacking up house prices out of the reach of first home buyers. Our approach will make a real difference.

“Labour has a comprehensive housing package that includes requiring all landlords to ensure that their properties are warm and dry. National’s possible trial of a WOF on State houses alone is a joke. Why do we need a pilot project to tell us that homes must be warm and dry? Ask any New Zealander, they will tell you, it's common-sense.

“By limiting the WOF to State housing National is ignoring the fact that half of our children in poverty are living in private rental accommodation. Don’t they deserve a warm and dry home too?

“National is all talk, no action on housing. They’ve been spooked into a bit of window dressing following Labour’s KiwiBuild announcement. But once again, they don’t have the courage to roll up their sleeves and make a real difference,” said David Shearer.


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