Government’s weak response disappointing
Annette King | Monday, October 29, 2012 - 16:33
The Kiwi dream of home ownership and affordable housing for New Zealanders is dying and hope for resuscitation by government looks bleak, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Annette King.
“National’s response to the housing affordability crisis, signed off by Cabinet today, will not give Kiwis the relief they deserve, and were expecting after the build-up to the announcement.
“Families know that there is a shortage of good quality, lower-priced housing. Bill English has admitted as much. But nothing in his work programme today guarantees change in the medium or long term.
“After seven months in the making, New Zealanders have a right to feel let down. This is a weak response to a comprehensive report. It’s a combination of; ‘considering new ways’, ‘undertaking more enquiries’, ‘doing more work’ and ‘undertaking evaluations’.
“John Key wants us to believe we are a ‘property-owning democracy’ but opportunities for young families almost non-existent. National’s business as usual approach, which addresses the supply-side of the crisis rather than the obvious demand, is not going to pave an affordable way forward for families.
“Weakening the RMA and lowering industry standards will do nothing to get Kiwis into homes. And even if the land is made available there is no guarantee it’s going to be cheap.
“The Government’s suggested partnership approach sounds ominous for councils. They seem to be expected to ‘share the commitment’ of addressing housing affordability at the very same time that government is placing constraints on their core services.
“The Government doesn’t look to be offering any revenue sharing to pay for its policy. Ratepayers will again be picking up the bill.
“There is nothing in National’s response today that will make housing more affordable. It will do nothing to put the missing rung of the housing ladder in place and give people a leg up to it.
“The Government is in denial and is condemning the housing sector to a path of decline,” Annette King said.