Housing plan a start, but much more needed to meet the scale of the crisis

The Government’s housing announcement is a very small start but it doesn’t go far enough to genuinely meet the scale of the crisis.

“Everyone has a right to a decent, accessible and affordable home that supports their wellbeing and helps them to be a part of their communities,” says Green Party Finance and Urban Development spokesperson Julie Anne Genter.

“Successive governments have allowed speculation to drive up housing prices, and failed to build enough public housing, or support our community housing sector.

“These announcements are a step in the right direction and signal the Government is beginning to front up to the inequality driven by property speculation, but it needs to go further, faster to meet the scale of the housing crisis.

“We welcome the Government identifying and closing a tax loophole which allows investors to deduct mortgage interest costs from their taxable income. This will go some way to discouraging property speculation.

“The increase in infrastructure investment to support new homes must focus on building environmentally sustainable and accessible homes and communities, rather than increasing car-dependent urban sprawl, so people can live in the places where their work, study, and family are.

“The Kāinga Ora debt limit should be increased by $5 billion to actually support Kāinga Ora to build at least 5000 new homes every year, integrated with frequent public transport and active transport connections.

“There are still more tools in the toolbox that the Government can use to stop the accelerating housing crisis. We urge the Government to remove the cap for the bright line test altogether.

“A 10-year cap extension just kicks the can down the road a few years, while property speculators will hold on to their properties until the day after the bright line test is over.

“We should not accept that it will take decades to turn around this housing crisis. The Government has the ability to address both demand and supply of homes in a way that will deliver fairer, greener communities.

“The housing crisis is getting worse by the day. We need bold, transformational action to ensure a soft landing, rather than a housing crash”.

ENDS

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