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Five Things The Government Could Do To Fix Housing

With the 53rd Parliament getting down to business this week, National is urging the Government to implement five solutions to the housing crisis that do not involving hiking tax.

“The Government can’t tax its way out of its housing woes,” National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“National supports repeal and replacement of the Resource Management Act to remove the long-standing planning barriers that are holding back houses from being built, but more immediate action is also needed.

“The Government should be willing to pursue innovative ideas to encourage a surge in new house building. Here’s just five they should seek advice on today:

  1. Strengthen the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (the NPS): The NPS requires local authorities to rezone land to meet new minimum standards to enable intensification and growth. The Government should explore bringing this urgent rezoning forward, as well as increasing the competitiveness margin, to accelerate and support new housing growth in our major urban centres.
  2. Remove the Auckland Urban Boundary: This arbitrary line has been found to add $50,000 or more to the average cost of houses in Auckland. The Government committed to removing it in 2017 but progress has stalled.
  3. Make Kāinga Ora capital available to community housing providers with shovel-ready plans: Proven social housing providers have land and consents for new housing projects ready to go. The Government could make these projects happen immediately by releasing some of the $9.8 billion in taxpayer funding currently ring-fenced for future state housing.
  4. Establish a Housing Infrastructure Fund: This would help local government finance the pipes and roads required to accelerate rezoning of land for Greenfields developments.
  5. Implement new finance models: The Government should work with industry to develop finance models that leverage Accommodation Supplement and Income-Related Rent entitlements to drive new housing development.

“This is by no-means a comprehensive list of actions, but it shows how much more the Government could be doing,” Ms Willis says.

“In a time of crisis with some of the most unaffordable house prices in the world, rapidly reducing rates of home ownership and more than 20,000 New Zealanders waiting for a state house, the Government must be open to fresh thinking.

“The last Labour Government wasted time trying to rescue its doomed KiwiBuild programme and chewing over a Capital Gains Tax. This term, New Zealanders need them to focus on initiatives that will actually make a difference.

“National will continue to put forward constructive ideas to address New Zealand’s severe housing shortage.”

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