It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“Clearly whatever it is National is doing is not working. Skyrocketing house prices continue to lock a generation out of the dream of homeownership and soaring rents are forcing families out of their homes and into cars and garages.
The Government’s flagship $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund was so rushed it wasn’t considered until after the Budget and announced just a month later, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“Documents obtained by Labour through Written Parliamentary Questions show the Fund – which was announced at National’s annual conference in July – bypassed the normal policy making process of going through a Cabinet Committee.
New data released by Quotable Value today shows the cost of the average Auckland house is just $8000 short of a million dollars and has doubled since National took office in 2008, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“The average Auckland house now costs $992,207. That’s almost precisely double the $496,081 they were in December 2008.
The Prime Minister’s flippant response to concerns New Zealand is a tax haven continues to damage our international reputation with the European Union now investigating foreign trust laws here, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“John Key can insist all he likes that we are not a tax haven but the prominent part New Zealand played in the Panama Papers has left a lasting impression on other countries including the EU.
The Government continues to mislead the public about foreign speculators with its selective data underestimating their impact on the New Zealand housing market by up to 75 per cent, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“National has removed the ability for corporations and trusts to be identified as foreign so has skewed the data from the start. They have also counted foreign students and temporary workers who don’t intend to stay in the country or live in the home they’ve bought as New Zealanders.
Modelling done for the Independent Hearing Panel predicts that only 15 per cent of new homes under Auckland’s Unitary Plan will cost less than $800,000, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“The majority of these houses will be out of the reach of most Auckland families. The modelling found* that, of the 247,000 new homes planned within the existing urban area, 85 per cent will cost more than $800,000 and most will cost more than a million dollars.
Paula Bennett’s policy to fund $9 million worth of support services is much-needed help for the homeless but smacks of yet another last minute, short-sighted and piecemeal decision, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.
“Funding services for two years will relieve some immediate issues for families but without a plan to build more affordable and state houses, it’s another ambulance at the bottom of the cliff proposal.