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National’s housing policy just poly filler

11 August 2013

National’s housing policy just poly filler in face of crisis

National’s just released housing policy throws a bit of money at first home buyers but does nothing to address New Zealand’s wider housing affordability crisis, the Green Party said today.

John Key today confirmed plans to increase assistance for some first home buyers including raising the house price cap in Auckland, and some other areas, under which extra assistance will be available. First home buyers will also have to save a bigger deposit before they qualify for Government assistance.

“National’s announcement today is a cynical attempt to look as if it cares about the housing affordability crisis before the next election rolls around,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“Chucking a bit of cash at first home buyers with access to fund a deposit will assist some first home buyers. But house prices will continue to rise and many more New Zealanders will be left with no means of ever affording a house.

“Moreover, John Key’s changes to the Welcome Home Loan scheme will actually stop many low and middle income New Zealanders ever owning a home.

“This poly filler approach from the Key Government cannot cover over the housing affordability chasm that developed under the last Government and continues to widen under this one.

“John Key wants to give the impression he is facing up to the housing affordability crisis but is not brave enough to implement measures that would actually address the fundamental drivers of the housing bubble,” Dr Norman said.

“National's failure to increase the supply of affordable social housing and its failure to constrain foreign buyers of residential housing and introduce a capital gains tax on investment properties has led to a renewed housing bubble.

“The Green Party’s solution to housing affordability is for a government-led programme of affordable home building and Progressive Ownership to give families a pathway to owning those homes using the government’s low cost of capital.

“Assisting low and middle income New Zealanders in this way, along with a comprehensive set of regulations to tackle our current housing crisis is the way to deal with New Zealand’s currently unaffordable housing market.”

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