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Affordable homes for all New Zealanders

4 November 2008 Media Statement

Affordable homes for all New Zealanders

Housing Minister Maryan Street today released Labour’s housing policies, including plans for a new approach to sustainable urban development and to grow investment in not-for-profit housing providers.

Helen Clark and Maryan Street recently unveiled the latest Labour affordable housing initiative. The HOPE (Home Ownership on the Public Estate) programme involves building starter homes on Crown land for modest income families. They will pay for the house and the Crown will continue to own the land, effectively halving the cost of home ownership.

The initiative complements a range of other Labour policies designed to ensure New Zealanders have the security of a warm, dry and affordable home - and have improved home ownership opportunities.

“Labour has also proposed bringing forward planned Housing New Zealand developments and maintenance, modernisation and retrofitting on state homes work as part of an economic stimulus package to keep people in jobs, which will be announced in December if the international financial slowdown continues,” Maryan Street said.

Maryan Street said that in its fourth term Labour will:

 Develop and redevelop Crown land to increase the supply of affordable homes
 Establish the HOPE programme to create 1,500 affordable homes for modest income New Zealanders on Crown land
 Develop a new approach to sustainable urban development
 Evaluate and expand the Shared Equity scheme
 Grow and invest in large-scale not-for-profit housing providers through an expanded Housing Innovation Fund
 Assist local authorities implement the Affordable Housing Act
 Increase funding for Papakainga and Kaumatua housing
 Develop more housing partnerships with iwi
 Examine ways to guarantee bank loans through the Welcome Home Loan Scheme for housing projects on Māori land
 Expand the provision of state homes
 Expand the provision of emergency housing
 Define homelessness and assess numbers so appropriate policy can be developed

“Labour’s housing policy shows we have a clear and comprehensive plan to increase the supply of affordable homes for New Zealanders.

“In contrast National’s solution for the broader affordable housing issue has simply been to advocate tax cuts, which is lazy, visionless and ineffective.

“It’s good National has finally adopted some Labour policies. But it still refuses to acknowledge the need for more state houses.

“Labour invested $221 million in acquiring new state homes last year alone. Every New Zealand child is entitled to a warm, dry roof over their heads and providing affordable homes for our most vulnerable families is the cornerstone of Labour’s housing policy.

"Mr Key has traded on his rags to riches story of growing up in a state house but is prepared to pull the ladder up behind him and deny the same assistance to other struggling families.

“His determination to remove state homes from the Hobsonville development speaks volumes about his true colours. This is the man who went to McGehan Close to bemoan the plight of the ‘underclass’ but won’t allow state house tenants into his own neighbourhood as part of a new, mixed community, urban development,” Maryan Street said.

  • Housing Policy
  • Housing Summary
  • ENDS

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