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Alliance Party says affordable housing key


Alliance Party says affordable housing key to no longer being locked out

New Zealand needs to have more affordable, quality housing for all and the main parties are neglecting this, Alliance Party housing spokesperson Tom Dowie said when launching the party’s housing policy today.

“Even though house prices have continued to slide due to the current recession, housing affordability is still a key issue for many New Zealanders. This is due to the fact that house price inflation went through the roof during the boom times,” says Mr Dowie.

Therefore, the only people who have gained a roof over their heads have been the wealthy as many New Zealanders have had to resort to living in low quality, high rent private sector accommodation, which is often owned by overseas landlords who cashed in on the housing boom.

“Low and middle income workers and their families, students and beneficiaries have all lost out. This is also due to the fact that while Labour has been engaged in a state house building programme, the amount of stock has still not kept up with the increased demand due to the growing number of working and beneficiary families who are on waiting lists. This has effectively resulted in Labour continuing to subsidise wealthy landlords, in the same way that National did, through the Accommodation Supplement,” said Mr Dowie.

The Alliance Party has pledged to put more ordinary Kiwis into their own healthy, warm home or into high quality, low rent state housing through a number of measures including:

• Introducing low-interest, no-deposit loans for low-income workers and beneficiaries to enable them to buy homes.

• Increase the number of state houses being built to ensure adequate supply of affordable housing.

• Help local councils and other agencies provide pensioner flats and social housing with loans at below market interest rates, but only if rents are set at less than 25% of household income.

• Establish a public housing construction agency employing builders and apprentices to build state houses, and to modernise and insulate existing state houses.

• Introduce capital gains taxes to reduce speculation and end the instability of the housing market.

• Introduce rent controls and stronger tenancy protection.

“All of these measures will ensure that Kiwis are no longer locked out of the housing market or from acquiring warm, healthy and insulated social housing if and when they need it,” he said.

The Alliance Party believes that a massive housing construction programme is also essential to combat the recession currently being experienced within the economy and this will have positive spin-offs.

“A vote for the Alliance Party is a vote for decent and healthy housing as well as jobs for all Kiwis,” says Mr Dowie.

Ends.

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