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Judith Collins says she's written to PM requesting emergency legislation to address housing crisis

Opposition leader Judith Collins says she has written to Jacinda Ardern requesting that emergency legislation be drawn up to address the housing crisis in Auckland.

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The Opposition leader says she has written to the Prime Minister saying emergency legislation is needed to increase housing supply in Auckland. Source: Breakfast

The National leader appeared on Breakfast, where she continued criticism of the Government's housing package that was announced yesterday.

Collins called the increase of the bright-line test to 10 years a capital gains tax and said renters would foot the bill for the changes.

She said legislation was needed to get homes built in Auckland, as it was in Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake.

“I’ve written to the Prime Minister, I’m getting slightly sick of writing to the Prime Minister and getting back a flick off response. I’ve said let’s get emergency legislation like we did after Christchurch and get houses consented and get them built,” Collins said.

We know that the time taken for consenting, the time taken is a massive cost for developers, which goes on to the cost of housing.

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“That’s what we should do, we should do for Auckland what we did in Christchurch, increase the supply very realistically and you don’t put the big cost on to renters, that’s what the perverse outcome of this [package] is.”

The package, which included a $3.8 billion fund for housing, made more first home buyers eligible for grants and removed the ability for property investors to offset interest expenses against rental income.

Increasing the cost for landlords would only hurt tenants, Collins said.

“One of the thing that’s the worst is it is going to make it really hard for renters, we would expect that there would be a drop in supply and rents will go up as costs will go up for landlords,” she said.

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The lack of exemptions for people who needed to vacate their first home, or family home, for a year would end up taking blameless people out of the property market, she said.

“As we found out last night, for someone who buys a house, say you’re a police officer who buys a house in Auckland gets transferred to Dunedin for a couple of years, you go down to Dunedin for a couple of years, your house, say you’ve rented it out or not living in it, in Auckland is going to be caught by this Capital Gains Tax.

"There is no exemption for the family home if you have to move out of it for a year, also if someone loses their job, people go and live with Mum and Dad and they try and rent out their house to pay the cost, they’re going to have in many cases sell that house and they’re now out of that market.”

Large new homes under construction at Orewa, north Auckland. Source: Getty

Collins said people who owned multiple properties were supplying the rental market after being told that 40 per cent of residential property purchases in the last quarter of last year were by people who already owned a home, and 15,000 people bought homes last year who already owned properties.

She also launched a passionate defence of "Mum and Dad investors" who she said were treated unfairly by these changes.

“This also affects Mum and Dad investors who are looking for something that they can actually put their money in to and they have one extra house that they rent out,” she said.

“It takes them into this position, it calls them speculators when they own a house that they rent out for anything less than 10 years, it treats them as if they’ve only bought a house to flick it on, that is simply not fair.

“Renters, the people lest able to pay will pay for this.”