The housing bubble’s clearly back. More wealth concentrated in the hands of the few. More of the rest of us stuck with renting for life. The politicians are talking about affordable housing. But Labour’s plan’s not affordable unless your income’s $60,000 a year or more. And who could afford the petrol you would burn living in National’s planned exurbs?
Time was the government led new housing development by building state houses and offering soft loans to families to build in designated areas along public transport spines. What was wrong with that? We only gave up on affordable housing in the 1980s when the car was king, petrol was going to be cheap forever, and neoliberalism insisted that the government should leave it to the market.
The Labour/Green solution is part way there. 100,000 extra KiwiBuild homes plus the Greens’ 9,000 state houses deals with the supply side issue. Capital gains tax gets rid of some of the price-increasing demand from speculators. But who’s doing anything to assist the target audience – young families – to be in a position to buy those houses?