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Green Party announces Housing Policy

The Green Party, launching its Housing Policy today, has called for a community-owned development bank to be set up to help capitalise community housing projects.

Green Party Housing Spokesperson Sue Bradford said many low-income earners were paying up to 60 per cent of their income in rent or mortgage and they could not afford it.

"We are seeing the results in places like South Auckland with serious health and crime problems. Part of the answer is getting people back into housing they can afford."

Funding for community housing projects would enable the building of affordable housing and would also help create jobs in the building industry.

Housing was a basic human right as set out in the United Nations Charter. A forum representing all sectors in the housing arena - community, business, local government and tenants - would be set up to identify the best means to develop, implement and monitor housing policy.

"We aim to urgently initiate a substantial housing programme in partnership with those rural and urban communities of highest need," Ms Bradford said.

Housing alternatives such as rural eco-villages, cooperative housing and self-build and sweat equity housing would be investigated.

The policy also calls for housing costs to be set at 25 per cent of income and for the Tenancy Act to be reviewed so that long-term rental and lease accommodation became an option.

Ms Bradford said the Green Party would support research into low-energy house design; low energy-use waste; low-tech self-build construction and the conservation of common resources, such as water. The party would encourage the use of locally-produced and non-toxic building materials.

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