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Labour applauds Capital’s housing development

The Wellington City Council’s plans to boost their social and affordable housing portfolio is proof that delivery of warm, dry and affordable homes can be achieved when there is a strong will, says Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central.

“This is a superb initiative from the Wellington City Council and will help supply another 750 much-needed beds at the Arlington site and other locations in Wellington, with a mix of social housing to rent and affordable housing to buy.

“This shows that the Council, under Labour Mayor Justin Lester’s leadership, shares Labour’s commitment to affordable homes and will play its part in tackling housing crisis in Wellington.

“The Government’s failure to address the housing crisis means that people need to rent longer to afford their first deposit, and in turn this is causing rents to rise as well – over $1500 a year in the past 12 months for a typical Wellington property.

“By cutting back the legislated purpose of local government, and refusing to extend the Income Related Rent Subsidy to councils, National has effectively told councils to give up the job of providing housing, at a time when Central Government is desperately trying to flog off state houses.

“Wellington City Council is a leader on public housing and recognises that having enough decent affordable housing is vital to the wellbeing of its communities.

“Labour believes central government, councils and the community should all do more to provide high quality public housing, and will work with Councils just as Helen Clark’s Government did with Wellington City Council in 2008. This ensured there would be no selling-down of social housing in the Capital for at least 30 years.

“The resulting $400 million social housing upgrade programme is ensuring warm, dry and affordable homes for Wellingtonians. Labour delivered on its housing commitment back then and we’ll do it again in Government.

“Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will deliver thousands of new, affordable homes for Wellington, we’ll ensure rental properties are of better quality and we’ll provide a fairer deal for renters,” says Grant Robertson.