The Greens have launched a big new housing policy (interest.co.nz has the most comprehensive report so far, Herald piece here) called Home for Lifethat fixes KiwiBuild and gives renters more rights. The problem with Kiwibuild is a lot of the target families can’t afford the mortgage. The Greens have got around that with Progressive Ownership. A shared equity programme that basically means you’re paying the government’s low interest rate, rather than the higher rate from a bank.
The nice thing is the flexibility. You have that low basic payment to cover the sovereign borrowing rate, then you buy equity as you can afford it. Stop buying up if you lose your job, buy up more if your ship comes in.
Sounds like a goer. Like, a real option for so many young families who are staring at years, if not decades, more renting. It would certainly help me and mine get out of paying the landlord’s mortgage and into building up something for ourselves instead. And it’s not like the basic idea is new – it was the Nats who used to lend families money at 3% to families for new homes under State Advances. And there’s no cost to the government, because you’re paying the Crown’s borrowing cost.
They haven’t forgotten renters, either. Rentals will be required to meet basic standards to ensure they’re liveable in reaction to the abuses in Christchurch. Rental increases will be limited to once a year and will have to be in accordance with a formula in the tenancy agreement – no more surprise hikes. Also, you’ll have the right to renew your tenancy agreement when it expires – no fear of getting the boot if you complain about the state of the place.
Nice one, Metiria. Got my vote.