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Housing

Labour is making sure every New Zealander has a warm, dry, safe place to call home – whether they rent or own.

There is no silver bullet to solve the long-term challenge that is the housing crisis, but we’re making good progress.

Labour’s 2020 campaign policies

We will be adding new 2020 campaign policy announcements here ahead of the election. Check back regularly for updates.

  • If re-elected, we’ll continue to build on our progress with our five-point plan to support new housing during the economic uncertainty of COVID-19:
    • We’ll support construction through the Residential Development Response Fund, enabling builders and developers to apply for support to help them get on with the job
    • We’ll deliver 18,000 additional public and transitional houses by 2024
    • We’ll continue to support first home buyers with First Home Grants and Loans, progressive home ownership and KiwiBuild
    • We’ll work with the industry to improve productivity through the Construction Sector Accord
    • We’ll remove planning barriers to residential construction, including by replacing the RMA to reduce cost and complexity
  • We’ll also regulate property managers to protect landlords and tenants, and continue our progressive homeownership scheme.
  • Healthy homes, healthy children and healthy hearts are the focus of a new policy designed to drive down our rates of rheumatic fever. If re-elected, we will:
    • Expand the Healthy Homes initiative for housing basics like heaters, curtains, bedding and floor covering
    • Strengthen healthy home compliance and enforcement efforts by Tenancy Services 
    • Introduce a national register to actively track and treat rheumatic fever patients 

Find more detail on Labour's housing policies here, and extra information about our policy to drive down our rates of rheumatic fever here.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to make sure every New Zealander has a warm, dry, safe place to call home. That’s why we are:

  • Funding 8000 new public and transitional homes, which will provide a significant boost to the construction sector and wider economy and take the number of new public and transitional houses we’ve provided to around 17,000
  • Scrapping the need for consents for low-risk building work, such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports, saving homeowners around $18 million in consenting costs each year, unclogging the building consent process, and making minor home improvements quicker and more affordable
  • Helping to keep Kiwis warmer and healthier with our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme by funding improvements to around 9,000 additional low income households, on top of the more than 20,000 warmer homes we’ve already delivered. This will also help to protect people from respiratory disease and create jobs.

Labour will continue rolling out a Progressive Home Ownership scheme that will support lower income families struggling to pull together a deposit, or pay a mortgage, into home ownership.

Labour will continue to implement our Homelessness Action Plan to prevent and reduce homelessness. Our plan aims to prevent people from becoming homeless and reduce reliance on motels for emergency accommodation.

Labour will continue to partner with iwi and Māori housing providers to get more whānau into healthy and secure homes, and to create solutions to the housing crisis beyond COVID-19.

Labour’s achievements to date

During the COVID crisis

We’ve supported Kiwis through the COVID-19 crisis to remain in their homes with our six-month freeze on residential rent, our pause on tenancy terminations and our six month mortgage holiday for homeowners affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

And we worked with community organisations, iwi and councils to urgently provide over 1,000 vulnerable people with a place to stay to keep them safe from the potential spread of COVID-19. We’ve committed further funding to ensure people can stay housed until long-term housing supply is available.

Before the COVID crisis

In our first year, we banned offshore speculators from our housing market to slow rapidly increasing house prices and making it easier for first home buyers to get on the property ladder.

We’re delivering more public housing than any other Government has in decades, delivering 3,695 new public houses since 2017. We turned around the state housing decline by putting an end to National’s state house sell-off and ramping up our state house building programme, with Kāinga Ora now building more than 25 new houses a week.

We’ve taken action to break the cycle of homelessness, helping hundreds of homeless people get into a home with wrap-around services through expanding Sustaining Tenancies, Housing First and adding 1,400 extra transitional housing places.

We’re making life better for renters, too. We changed the law so all private rentals have to meet minimum standards to be warm and dry. We’ve better balanced the rights of renters and landlords by banning unfair letting fees, and reforming the Residential Tenancies Act.

The construction industry has boomed under Labour to build the homes, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure New Zealand needs. New dwelling building consents hit a 45 year high, we saw record building apprenticeships, and we have worked side by side with industry through the Construction Sector Accord. Together, we’re implementing the Construction Sector Transformation Plan and the Building for Climate Change programme to ensure a more productive, sustainable and inclusive building and construction sector.