National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month in a row with 553 in June which is down from 611 in May, and 697 in April.
“This means in the first nine months of the Government’s housing accord just 5,278 houses have been consented. At this rate they will finish 2000 short of their target of 9000 houses consented in the first year of the accord.
“Auckland Council estimated the Government would consent 9,000 homes in 2014 anyway before most of the special housing areas were announced.
“This is an unambitious target but the Government can’t even meet that. Auckland needs 13,000 homes per year to meet demand and make up for the shortfall in consents under this Government.
“In spite of Housing Minister Nick Smith’s frantic efforts to make it look like he is doing something about the housing crisis, the Auckland Housing Accord is pretty much all he has got. And 14 months after he announced it, he hasn’t built a single new house in the Special Housing Areas.
“These consent figures demonstrate yet again the ongoing failure of the Government’s attempts to fix a broken housing market by doing nothing more than tweaking the planning rules.
“Labour has a positive vision for housing which will see us build 100,000 affordable homes, put first home buyers ahead of speculators with a Capital Gains Tax and restrictions on non-resident buyers, and a National Policy Statement under the RMA that will give Councils strong direction to increase the supply of new housing,” says Phil Twyford.