Building a small number of expensive houses and labelling them 'affordable' will do nothing to alleviate the chronic shortage of houses that ordinary families can afford to buy, Green Party housing spokesperson Holly Walker said today.
The Government has announced 'targets' for the Hobsonville development for 10% of its houses to be priced under $400,000 and a further 10% to be priced under $485,000. That is about 500 homes in total. Those targets are inflation-indexed, so by the time the homes are actually built the prices will be even higher.
"Half a million dollars for a house might be 'affordable' on Planet Key, but it is far out of reach for most New Zealand families," said Ms Walker.
"While the Government is trying to say these homes are affordable within the context of Auckland house prices, they are unaffordable when viewed within the context of real low and middle income New Zealand families and their stretched budgets.
"The fortnightly payments on a mortgage on one of these houses would be around half the net median household income in Auckland - that's unaffordable for the typical family, let alone those on lower incomes.
"John Key once said that building affordable housing at Hobsonville would be 'economic vandalism' but what's really economic vandalism is failing to provide housing that ordinary Kiwi families can afford.
"This plan consists of houses that are too expensive and too few in number to make any difference to the chronic shortfall in affordable housing in this country. It lacks any state or social housing or assistance for first-home buyers.
"It is clear what will happen: many of these houses will be snapped up by property investors who will price ordinary families out of the market and those families will remain locked into renting.
"The Greens are committed to expanding the supply of affordable housing, introducing capital gains tax to dampen speculation that forces up prices, and investigating ways to help first time buyers.
"John Key and National have never believed in providing New Zealand families with affordable housing. This announcement shows that they haven't changed their spots, only their spin," said Mr Walker.