New Zealand Labour Party

10-fold more affordable houses under Labour

New data showing homeownership rates continue to fall and more Kiwis than ever rent, highlights why Labour’s plan to build 10 times more affordable housing in Auckland is so desperately needed, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Labour’s Affordable Housing Authority will oversee the building of 5000 affordable houses on average in Auckland every year for 10 years. This year fewer than 500 affordable homes will be built in our biggest city.

“You can’t fix the housing crisis without an intensive government-backed building programme in Auckland where the need for affordable housing is greatest. National knows this and that is why they resorted to scare tactics.

“Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce knows Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build affordable houses, sell them and use the sales revenue to build more. Yet he is desperately trying to ignore that by claiming Labour can only build 4000 houses. He knows that is a lie.

“By the time it is fully up and running there will be 2500 KiwiBuild homes built every quarter, providing a steady stream of returning capital.

“Unlike National, Labour will also address the demand side of the housing crisis by taxing speculators who sell rental properties within five years. This will drive out speculators without impacting on the majority of landlords who stay in the market for more than 10 years.

“Statistics NZ’s latest dwelling and household estimates show in the past year the number of new families who own their own home grew by only 5,700 while the number of renters increased by twice as much, or 13,500 households.

“This has taken the nationwide homeownership rate from 66 per cent when National took office to 63.4 per cent. If homeownership levels were at their 1991 peak there would be an extra 174,000 families who owned their own home today.

“Labour’s housing plan will see thousands of families achieve the Kiwi dream of homeownership.

“The differences between Labour and National are clear. Labour will build affordable houses. National won’t. Labour will truly clamp down on speculators, not undertake some cynical half-measure. Labour will address the housing crisis, National is still trying to insist there isn’t one,” Phil Twyford says.