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Time for English to show leadership on housing

National’s failure on housing has never been more starkly exposed than in the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation Report 2017, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.

“The Salvation Army is spot on when it describes National’s ‘small efforts’ on emergency housing and ‘few if any credible policy initiatives’ to tackle the housing crisis. It says ’entrenched child poverty has become the new normal.’

“The report goes on to state that ‘housing investment and speculation have been allowed to distort the economy, make us still more indebted, and create levels of homelessness unseen in more than a generation.’

“That’s all a damning indictment of this Government’s record. Economic growth counts for little if our kids are living in mouldy houses and young couples are locked out of the Kiwi dream of homeownership.

“On National’s watch, average house prices have hit $1 million in Auckland, household debt has soared to record levels, we have the lowest home ownership rate since 1951, and rents are skyrocketing, forcing many into cold and damp homes.

“We have the opportunity now to do something about these problems with a comprehensive house building plan.

“But where is Bill English; why isn’t he leading? One of his first decisions as Prime Minister was to abolish the Housing Minister portfolio. He’s even too scared to call it a crisis.

“He may be the new Prime Minister, but he is failing to show leadership on the housing crisis.

“It’s time for a change of government so we can fix this problem. Labour will crack down on foreign speculators and build 100,000 affordable homes so New Zealanders can have a fair shot at the Kiwi dream,” says Andrew Little.