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Housing failure wider than Weymouth

The Government has no way of stopping the few so-called affordable houses in its Special Housing Areas being sold for windfall capital gain, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“MBIE officials told Parliament today that the houses could even be sold to non-resident foreigners.

“Affordable housing under National is an oxymoron.

“Nick Smith reluctantly agreed to a quota of 5-10 per cent of the houses in his Auckland SHAs being affordable. That’s pathetic when you consider the market produces 5 per cent on its own.

“The Government’s idea of affordable is $580,000. That simply isn’t affordable for most Aucklanders.

“But even the few houses that are so-called affordable, can be flicked off by their owners after three years, pocketing a massive capital gain based on current house price increases.

“Nick Smith’s affordable housing policy is a joke. There are hardly any new houses. Few of them are ‘affordable’. Even those are not really affordable. And they can be sold off windfall profits.

“Once again Nick Smith hasn’t done his homework. The Government could have put in place tougher restrictions on the re-sale of SHA houses, with a clawback of the capital gain if the house is sold within a certain period.

“But the bigger picture is that without bold game-changing policies like a massive government-backed building programme, and cracking down on speculators, Nick Smith’s tinkering won’t make a blind bit of difference to Auckland’s housing crisis,” Phil Twyford says.