Affordable housing is one of the huge issues facing this country. Owning your own home has always been central to the “Kiwi dream”, but nowadays it is out of reach. National released their own “affordable” housing policy recently, to near universal yawns. Today David Shearer and Labour showed them how it’s done.
Welcome to KiwiBuild.
If there is one thing your newspaper tells you every day about life in New Zealand it’s this: We have a housing problem. And it’s a deep seated problem. If you’re a young person today, you look at the cost of houses and you despair. For the first time, home ownership in Auckland has dropped below 60%.
It’s one of the reasons so many of our young people are giving up and going to Australia. The National government’s answer fell woefully short of what is needed. They don’t understand that the market has failed first-home buyers. The simple fact is we need more affordable houses.
It’s time for Government to step up. And we will.
Today I’m announcing that we will put 100,000 Kiwi families into their first home.
That’s the sort of big change we need to make a big difference to people’s lives.
We’ll oversee and invest in a large scale 10 year building programme of entry-level houses that Kiwis are crying out for.
Yes, it’s a big commitment and it’ll take a couple of years to ramp up, but we can do it. I won’t stand by while the dream of home ownership slips away from future generations.
At the peak of last decade, about 30,000 new homes were built a year. Now it’s less than half that. These are the missing rungs on the housing ladder. And it shows what an active and responsible government can do to help. The start-up cost of the building programme will be financed through issuing government stock called Home Ownership Bonds. The money we make from selling the houses will go back into the pot for building more.
The houses will be compact in size. Some will be stand-alone dwellings and others apartments. All of them will be good quality and energy efficient.
The homes will be sold to first home buyers who’ve saved their own deposit, like with KiwiSaver. We estimate that the maximum needed to be raised for a kick-start will be $1.5 billion.
It will quickly become self-funding though. And because it’s a capital investment, it won’t affect our commitment to balance the books and return to surplus.
I can already hear our opponents complaining that this is too bold. That the problem’s too big and there’s nothing we can do. I won’t accept that. I won’t give up on the Kiwi dream of an affordable home.
I have spoken to Auckland Mayor Len Brown to take up his offer of a partnership with Auckland council to make land available. In addition, we will introduce a National Policy Statement under the RMA to ensure that planning rules and consenting decisions support affordable housing.
We want to make a difference.
Building 100,000 new houses will create training opportunities for apprenticeships, more jobs and give a $2 billion dollar a year boost to the economy.
100,000 new entry level homes – from the policy Factsheet the price will be around $300,000 per unit. The biggest public building programme in over fifty years. Hope for young families and households. A massive boost to jobs and the economy. This is a historic policy.