'Government is not doing enough' - Greens, National call for action amid soaring public housing need, high house prices

Political parties are calling for urgent action amid an exploding public housing wait list and a continued rise in house prices. 

Source: 1 NEWS

The latest number of applicants on the state housing register showed a rise of almost 1000 in just two months, up to 22,409, as of November 2020.

"Every person waiting is in significant housing need," National's Nicola Willis said. "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". 

Also released today were Trade Me results which showed the average asking price for properties across every region had reached new records last month. New Zealand's national average asking price reached a record-breaking $767,050, according to Trade Me figures. 

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said 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. 

There were 660 applicants housed in November, and 607 in October. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said last year a housing package would likely be announced early this year. 

Public Housing Associate Minister Poto Williams said the Government was projected to exceed its public housing target of 1,600 with an estimated 2,484 additional public housing places. 

"This shows that our ambitious public housing programme is continuing to deliver."

"We want to make sure people in need get access to warm, dry, safe accommodation and we’ve encouraged people to come forward and ask for help. This will be one of the motivating factors behind the register increase."