Newsroom shows the housing affordability crisis by the numbers .
We have a problem in urgent in need of a solution but all the government gives us is a reheated announcement from last year’s Budget.
The Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 outlines where the government intends to build the 6000 public and 2000 transitional housing places it promised in last year’s Budget.
In all those months since the Budget, all the government has done is identify areas where they think the need for social housing is highest, none of which are in the South Island.
A reheated announcement like this won’t solve the housing crisis and there’s shades of the KiwiBuild debacle in it.
If it’s taken all these months to sort out where to build, how much longer will it take to get the building done?
There has to be a better way.
The Government’s public housing plan will fall well short of fixing New Zealand’s housing emergency, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
“The social housing waiting list is growing at an alarming rate. In the past 12 months alone another 7900 people put their hand up for a home.
“At this rate, another 32,000 people could be on the waiting list by 2025. That makes today’s announcement a drop in the bucket when it comes to fixing New Zealand’s housing woes.
“More and more Kiwis are being priced out of the private market as rents surge and house construction fails to keep up with demand.
“Rents have gone up $100 per week in just the past three years. This is a far higher rate than any time in our history. What is Jacinda Ardern’s solution to that problem?
“For many Kiwis, joining the queue at MSD to apply for emergency housing isn’t the answer they’re looking for. We need to drastically increase our housing stock by making it easier for everyone to build houses in this country, not just the Government.”
The number one solution to the fix the housing emergency is repealing and replacing the Resource Management Act. National has also proposed these shorter-term solutions:
- Strengthen the National Policy Statement on Urban Development: The Government should bring this urgent rezoning of land by local authorities forward, and increase the competitiveness margin, to enable intensification and growth.
- Remove the Auckland Urban Boundary: This arbitrary line has been found to add $50,000 or more to the average cost of houses in Auckland. The Government committed to removing it in 2017 but progress has stalled.
- Make Kāinga Ora capital available to community housing providers: Proven social housing providers have land and consents for new housing projects ready to go. The Government could make these projects happen immediately by releasing some of the $9.8 billion in taxpayer funding currently ring-fenced for future social housing.
- Establish a Housing Infrastructure Fund: This would help local government finance the pipes and roads required to accelerate rezoning of land for Greenfields developments.
- Implement new finance models: The Government should work with industry to develop finance models that leverage Accommodation Supplement and Income-Related Rent entitlements to drive new housing development.
“We need emergency measures to release land for development and boost construction as National did successfully in response to the Canterbury earthquakes. We will work constructively with Labour to achieve this.”
Labour wasn’t prepared for its first term in government and had the excuse of being held back by its coalition partners.
Those excuses wont wash now it’s in its second term and has an outright majority.
It can’t keep trying fool us into mistaking announcements and re-announcements for action.
When the root cause of the housing crisis, and the social and financial problems associated with it, is demand outstripping supply the solution is urgent action on the supply constraints not a timid reheating of last year’s Budget announcement.