Government loses the affordable housing race

Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams.

“The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will be sold  at a purchase price of more than $400,000, ignores the fact that the median house price in Christchurch is already up to $413,000

“In August the median house price was actually at his threshold for affordability of $400,000. At the time of the February 2011 earthquake the median house price was $290,000. 

“None of the building consents he is trumpeting have translated into lower house prices for Canterbury. Given the housing accord issues in Auckland one has to wonder if they are even being built. 

“Since the Christchurch Housing Accord was signed in April the Government has been buried by house price inflation. If houses over $400,000 are all we can expect from it then it is clear Christchurch’s housing crisis is going nowhere. 

“It is also a fact that house prices are increasing much more rapidly than wages in Canterbury.

“Nick Smith just doesn’t get it if he thinks today’s announcement is going to solve the housing crisis. His affordable houses are going to be more expensive than what is already available on the market,” says Poto Williams.