OECD report shows Govt must step up and build affordable housing for New Zealanders

The OECD’s New Zealand report is an urgent wake-up call that shows the level of affordable housing supply is nowhere near enough, particularly in Auckland, and that we need a state-sponsored building programme to catch up, the Green Party said today.

“The OECD report recognises that the housing market and the Government’s current policies are failing New Zealand families ­– it’s high time John Key, Bill English and Nick Smith got with the programme and acknowledged that too,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“The Government needs to stop giving their developer mates a free pass, and fill the housing supply void itself by building public and affordable housing, utilising its access to low-interest borrowing and available land.

“The Government’s public-private housing development partnerships are not working for low and middle-income New Zealanders. They sure are working for housing developers though!

“Everybody knows the profit-driven private sector is not interested in building affordable housing – it’s not where their highest margin is.

“If and when these houses are finally built, the private developers can sell them off at sky-high market prices, which means low and middle-income New Zealanders will continue to be locked out of housing ownership.

“The Green Party’s Home for Life scheme would see the Government build affordable housing, in conjunction with councils, iwi and the community sector, as well as provide progressive ownership options – allowing people to buy their own home without the market or the bank holding them hostage.

“We’d also like the Government to take note of the OECD’s recommendation to increase the Accommodation Supplement and re-prioritising it towards the neediest families.

“Low-income families are bearing the brunt of this Government’s inaction on housing and the rampant market, and that’s simply not good enough.

“When even the OECD is saying the housing crisis is causing growing inequality and hurting New Zealand families, you know you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.

“We need a brave and bold Government intervention in the housing market; not the piecemeal approach John Key and his ministers are taking at the moment,” said Mrs Turei.