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One year since accord and not one house built

Phil
TWYFORD
Housing spokesperson

29 May 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
One year since accord and not one house built

It has been one year since Nick Smith announced his housing accord to much fanfare but not one house has been built in the Special Housing Areas and all he has is lines on maps, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Last year Nick Smith promised 39,000 homes over three years with 9000 in the first year. But not one house has yet been built, despite a lack of ambition in the target.

“And now Nick Smith is trying to row back even from that target by saying it ‘will be a bit of a stretch’.

“The Auckland accord is National’s flagship housing policy. It is pretty much all they’ve got. And now it is looking decidedly shakey.

“Nick Smith needs to get some houses built. He is doing nothing to dampen down the demand side of the housing crisis and he’s all talk on the supply side. Meanwhile house prices keep rising and first home buyers are shut out of the market.

“The housing accord lasts only three years. It’s one year down with two to go and he is 9000 homes behind. Nick Smith needs to hurry up. He may have to start building them himself.

“While National trumpets the accord as their solution to Auckland’s housing woes, a closer look at the numbers shows it lacks ambition. It sets a target of 9000 consents in year one, but the market produced more than that in the previous year. On the Minister’s own numbers, the Special Housing Areas will only deliver 5850 consents over three years, when Auckland needs 39,000.

“National constantly tries to claim it is fixing the housing crisis by building houses. All they are doing is issuing consents. Aucklanders trying to buy a first home can’t live in a consent.

“Only Labour can fix the housing crisis. A Labour-led government will manage migration at stable levels, reform monetary policy to reduce interest rates, curb rising house prices by clamping down on overseas speculators and taxing capital gains, and build 100,000 affordable houses,” Phil Twyford says.

ENDS

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