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Housing Accord report shows Aucklanders were sold a lemon

Phil Twyford
Housing spokesperson

27 March 2014

Housing Accord report shows Aucklanders were sold a lemon

Nick Smith’s report on the Auckland Housing Accord is a mish-mash of projections, predictions and promises, but it fails to tell Aucklanders how many new homes will be built as a result of the Accord and how many of them will be affordable, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Nick Smith promised Aucklanders 39,000 new homes by 2016, but his own report shows that he will fail to deliver with only 2,392 new dwellings receiving building consent since October last year, when the Housing Accord was launched, which means only 7,176 houses “likely” this year according to the Minister’s own projections, leaving a deficit against his promise of 31,824 homes to build over the coming two years. To deliver, he will need to build homes at twice the rate of the first year, or over 15,000 homes in 2015 and another 15,000 homes in 2016.

“His own report shows there have been a miserable 13 new dwelling resource consents for new homes in his Special Housing Areas since October last year. At first I wondered if that figure was a typo.

“And worse, he is now congratulating himself for reporting numbers of sections and subdivisions consented and counting them as if they were somehow measures of real families being housed, as if the recently consented subdivision of Manukau Golf Course, where people are still playing golf, is part of the Minister’s deluded ‘success story’, when it is clear that actual families in the real world won’t be moving into these new homes for years.

“We know from the Auckland Plan that Auckland needs 10,000 new homes a year just to stand still against population growth, yet the government’s pathetic attempts to fix their failed housing policy, despite all the fanfare, is actually putting us further behind demand every day that goes by.

“All Nick Smith has to show for five years in government, and months of big talk and bullying are some pretty uninspiring figures for consented sections, and a set of figures proving that his policy will not deliver the homes Auckland desperately needs.

“Meanwhile Auckland house prices continue to escalate out of reach of first home buyers. Westpac’s Investment Report out today confirms the city’s status as a speculator’s paradise.

“This Government has utterly failed to rein in housing costs, and make it easier for ordinary Kiwis to own a home of their own. National refuses to actually build affordable homes, and they refuse to crack down on speculators both foreign and domestic who are driving Auckland’s house prices higher and higher.

“It must be humiliating for Nick Smith to see the Government’s housing policy collapsing around him. All the indicators are going in the wrong direction with house prices skyrocketing, first home buyers shut out of the market, interest rates heading north of 8 per cent, and wages for most Kiwis flat lining. It is a disaster of epic proportions and the Minister has run out of stunts and photo ops to hide his failed housing policy.”

ENDS

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