Release: National Government takes anti-housing stance

In six short months the Minister for Housing has shrunk the pool of potential home owners in New Zealand, removed housing security for renters, re-introduced competition on existing stock between investors and speculators, and served power and billions of dollars to landlords on a silver platter, says Labour housing spokesperson Kieran McAnulty.

“The National Government has let New Zealanders down with the decision to sacrifice the First Home Grant, which is why the Labour Party has created a petition to call for the government to restore the First Home Grant and give first home buyers a fair go,” Kieran McAnulty said.

“Taking away $60 million reserved to help people get on the property ladder, while gifting $2.9 billion to landlords has shown the public where the Government’s priorities lie.

“The idea that this move was made to increase social housing numbers is beyond ridiculous. The Salvation Army and other community housing providers have had home build projects scrapped because the Government would not commit to funding them, and the funding announced amounts to a significant drop from previous levels. You can’t save your way out of a housing crisis.

“Not only have they taken opportunities from social housing, but they have also delivered a kick in the guts for potential homeowners.

“For someone who’s never struggled to pay rent, deal with an insecure housing arrangement, operate a strict budget just to put a little aside each week – it may not seem like a big deal. But for many people the First Home Grant was what has helped them to own their own home.

“The Minister for Housing has an obligation to support people to get on to the property ladder, to have housing security, and access to a warm, safe home. He should have expanded the scheme, not scrapped it entirely.

“Not content with driving Kiwis out of the housing market, this Government’s brought back no-cause evictions, which means a landlord can kick a tenant out without needing a reason and without warning. We want the Government to ditch no cause evictions.

“They did have a choice – and they have made the wrong choice. But, it’s not too late for them to reconsider. We urge people to sign the petition in the hope that’s exactly what the Government does,” Kieran McAnulty said.

Click here to sign the petition.

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