Healthy, affordable homes a Green Party priority for Wellington

The Green Party would push to ensure everyone in Wellington has a warm, safe and affordable place to live as part of the next Government.

Co-leader, James Shaw visited Dwell Housing Trust and met with Renters United today to talk about the Green Party’s plan to make homes across the city more affordable and accessible.

“We all need a safe, secure place to call home, to raise our families in, and to feel connected to. However homes in Wellington are fast becoming some of the most unaffordable in the country.

“Previous governments have failed to do anything about the cost of living in Wellington, and many other towns and cities around Aotearoa. Families all over Wellington face the constant stress of making ends meeting and handing over most of their income just to keep a roof over their heads.

“The Green Party has set out a comprehensive plan to ensure everyone has a healthy and affordable place to live, no matter if they rent or own. As part of the next Government we would push to fix the broken system and make things easier for families looking to buy their first home, or people who rent,” James Shaw said.

Over the last three years, the Greens in Government have introduced the Healthy Homes Standards for rental insulation and heating, changed laws to protect housing security for renters, built thousands of new state homes with high standards of warmth and energy efficiency, and introduced a progressive home ownership programme to help more people buy their own homes.

“We have made great progress towards making sure all people have a healthy, safe, and affordable home to call their own. However, we are just getting started. In partnership with Labour we will push to go further and faster to create a Wellington that has affordable healthy homes close to good public transport connections.

In July 2020 the average house price in Wellington City exceeded $800,000 for the first time, pushing home ownership further out of reach. The average price of renting a home is now close to $500 per week. 

“All across the city there are people working to keep our communities running. They are teaching our kids, looking after our loved ones, and re-stocking our supermarket shelves. These people are the foundation of a thriving Wellington and it is simply not right that the price of a safe home to return to at the end of the day is moving further and further out of reach.

“We can change this and ensure more beautiful, energy efficient apartment blocks that provide a mixture of community rentals and rent-to-own properties, next to rapid transport, cycleways, and child-friendly footpaths that let everyone enjoy open space and get where they need to go without congestion and pollution,“ James Shaw said.

Further information

The Green Party’s plan for housing in Wellington includes:

  • Improving the Healthy Homes Standards to introduce a proper Housing Warrant of Fitness and extend warmth requirements to bedrooms as well as the main living space
  • Overhauling the building code so new builds are warm, dry, energy efficient, and accessible
  • Maintaining the public house build programme, prioritising progressive home ownership options such as rent-to-own and shared equity models, and ensuring no net loss of Crown land to market sales.
  • Ensuring a role for iwi in all housing development on Crown land
  • Creating better financial support and planning rules for papakāinga and co-housing, and a Crown underwrite for medium and high density long-term affordable rentals.
  • End homelessness by building off programmes that work, including funding for community response by Māori organisations.
  • Expanding the Warmer Kiwi Homes insulation and heating programme to help more families warm their homes – and create a two-year stimulus subsidy of up to $3000 for energy efficient retrofits in all homes.
  • Ensure density is done well, for flourishing cities with good connections between the places people live, work, and play.
  • Regulate the rental property management market, including university halls, so tenants and landlords can have confidence that property managers are doing their job responsibly.

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