New Zealand Labour Party

English shows how out of touch he is on housing

Bill English has shown how out of touch he is by claiming the Auckland housing crisis is ‘in the process of being solved’ and all that is needed is ‘a few more’ houses to be built, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“Bill English told Leighton Smith that ‘Auckland is in the process of resolving the pressures on housing’, ‘the best thing that is happening is 10,000 houses are getting built each year’, and ‘they probably need a few more’.

“Truth is, Auckland building consents are falling. And a significant percentage of consents are never built, so the actual number of houses built is below the 10,000 consents.

“Auckland doesn’t need ‘a few more’ houses; it needs 16,000 a year just to keep up with population growth, let alone address the existing shortage of up to 40,000 homes.

“It’s clear that Bill English is out of touch and complacent. Every day that Bill English sits on his hands and leaves his bungling mate Nick Smith in charge of housing, the crisis worsens.

“Bill English’s languid lack of leadership is the opposite of the action Auckland needs.

“Young families are being forced to take on record debt to buy a first home, and housing costs are eating up wage rises. Yet all Bill English does is admonish them to ‘think pretty hard about the level of debt they’re willing to take on’.

“It’s time he took responsibility for the position his policies have put Kiwi families in, and offered some real solutions.

“Labour will build 100,000 affordable houses for first home buyers, half of them in Auckland. We will ban foreign speculators and crack down on tax loopholes that encourage speculation. We will improve rental standards and invest in thousands of new state houses.

“That’s the comprehensive action plan Auckland and New Zealand needs,” says Phil Twyford.