National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“Despite National ridiculing this at the time, it is a no brainer to develop vacant government land in Auckland.
“The Government should have continued Labour’s work in this area seven years ago. If it had, we would have had thousands of new homes and the housing crisis might not be as bad.
“Instead, in 2008 National called the freeing up of Crown land ‘ill thought out’ and canned it.
“Now they are panicking about the housing crisis, Nick Smith’s officials have simply dusted off the work Labour did seven years ago.
“The problem is National has allowed the housing crisis to get so out of control that even the addition of 430 hectares of Crown land is unlikely to have much effect on house prices.
“A shortfall of 20,000 homes has built up under this Government. Auckland needs 13,000 a year just to keep up with population growth and consent figures show a build rate of less than 8000 a year.
“The shortage is getting worse by the day, which is why house prices went up more than $100,000 in the past year.
“This Government has been a bystander, watching the housing crisis spiral out of control. Its poll-driven pre-Budget panic has led to a half-hearted tax measure – that will catch less than 1000 speculators – and the freeing up of vacant government land that is seven years too late,” Phil Twyford says.