New government-built houses must be affordable

Bill English should release the details of the new houses he says will be built by the Government, including how affordable they’ll actually be, the Green Party said today.

Finance Minister Bill English has announced that the Government’s building programme in Auckland will increase under the Unitary Plan, after years of insisting the Government shouldn’t be building houses itself.

“It looks like National may have finally discovered how to build houses, just in time for the election next year, but how many will actually be affordable?” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“When you look at what they did in places like Tamaki and Glen Innes, the Government sold state homes and replaced them with townhouses that cost over $1 million to buy.

“Bill English needs to explain how affordable these homes will actually be, and how he plans to stop property speculators snapping them up.

“Affordable means three to four times a household’s income and until the Government accepts that, anything they do about housing affordability won’t have the substance to make an actual difference.

“The proof will be in the pudding – is Bill English actually going to build affordable homes, or is this just another way to flog off state house land for new million-dollar private houses?

“Fixing the Auckland housing market will take a massive affordable home-building programme, but it will also take closing the loopholes for property speculators, stopping overseas investors, and bringing in a capital gains tax (excluding the family home),” said Mrs Turei.

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