As political parties call for urgent action into New Zealand’s housing crisis, the Government has today released its public housing plan for the next four years.
Amid an increasing public housing wait list and continued rise in house prices, of which the median price has shot up to $767,050, Jacinda Ardern today confirmed Labour is on track to “deliver over 18,000 extra places by 2024".
The plan outlines the intention of where 8000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go.
The Prime Minister says that while public housing will continue to be delivered across the country, “there is a particular focus on Northland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North and Whanganui”.
“The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8000 homes – 6000 public housing places and 2000 transitional housing places - reinforces the Government’s investment in public housing. The plan confirms we are on track to deliver over 18,000 extra places by 2024,” Ardern said.
“Since November 2017 we have added 4579 newly built state homes across New Zealand; we are building more new public housing than any government has done in two decades.
Housing Minister Megan Woods says the need for public housing for the most vulnerable members of our communities, continues to grow.
“This follows decades of insufficient new housing stock being built and the selling off of thousands of state homes by the previous National Government,” Megan Woods said.
The Government is also reviewing market settings to provide more help to first home buyers and innovative ideas to increase the supply of affordable homes.
“Community Housing Providers and iwi and Māori housing providers will assist where Kāinga Ora can’t deliver, such as in Masterton where the public housing stock was sold off in 1999, or where a targeted housing approach is preferred," Woods said.
"Local councils will complement this work and provide delivery in some places – especially where they have land and plans ready to go for new housing.”
Yesterday National's Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis said: "Every person waiting is in significant housing need. More than a third are families with children. They desperately need a home, and this government clearly doesn’t have any solutions."
"Despite promises to fix our housing shortage housing has become more unaffordable than ever under Labour with more and more Kiwis struggling to find a home. This Government needs to stop passing the buck. It’s time for action."
Willis said the Government should "make it easier for developers to build more houses, and that means removing the regulatory barriers currently stopping them".
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said yesterday the Government needed to do more on housing.
"We’re frustrated," Davidson said. "We’ve been quite clear, Government is not doing enough if we are not putting all the tools on the table so that people can afford to rent, buy kai for their households, and even own their own homes."
She added that action should be taken such as taxing wealth or capital gains and speeding up and increasing public and community housing builds should be occurring.