Will the election outcome impact affordable housing?

With skyrocketing property prices and an upcoming election, housing affordability remains a hot topic in New Zealand. Both National and Labour are aware of the importance of housing and have policies in place around how to make housing affordable for all New Zealanders. However, the two parties have different approaches and attitudes towards this. We’ve summarised the main policy points from each of them below.

National

National’s policy states that they remain committed to addressing the challenge of housing and have a comprehensive plan to achieve it. It includes:

• Fast-tracking the building of homes by creating special housing areas in high demand areas across New Zealand.
• Accelerating new housing in high-demand areas through a $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to finance infrastructure like roads and water needed to support new housing.
• Speeding up housing development in these high-demand areas by setting up independent Urban Development Authorities.
• Reforming the Resource Management Act to make consents easier to obtain for councils and developers.
• Ensuring people buying and selling property for profit pay their fair share of tax.
• Helping housing land supply keep pace with growth.
• Continuing to work to improve housing outcomes for Māori through The Māori Housing Network and refreshing He kai kei aku ringa, the Māori economic development framework.
• Helping more Kiwis get into their first home through the HomeStart Scheme. (Buyers can use their KiwiSaver funds – $20,000 per couple for existing homes and $30,000 for new builds.)

Labour

Labour wants all Kiwis to have a fair chance at home ownership and a warm, dry, safe place to live. Labour’s plan to fix the housing crisis includes cracking down on speculators, building more affordable houses, supporting those in need, making life better for renters, and better homes for Maori. To do this, their proposal includes:

• Placing bans on foreign ownership of existing homes, increasing taxes for those who flick houses within five years and closing tax loopholes.
• Setting up KiwiBuild to create 100,000 affordable homes across New Zealand with half of these being in Auckland. These will only be sold to first home owners.
• Fast-tracking development in cities by creating an Affordable Housing Authority.
• Removing Auckland’s urban growth boundary and free up density controls.
• Making Housing New Zealand a public service rather than an SOE.
• Increasing standards for rental homes.
• Working with iwi and other Māori organisations.

There are similarities in that both parties want to fast-track the development of affordable housing in sought after areas and make building consents easier to obtain. However, the big question remains: Will they deliver?

As the issue of affordable housing is a complex challenge, there is no quick fix. So, we’re unlikely to see massive changes in the first 100 days of government. After that, it’s easy for election promises to be forgotten over time.

Eco Pod Concepts has a plan to increase our production and make housing more affordable.

We are looking at adding production units in the South Island and streamline production methods to get more Pods produced to meet increasing demand.  We are looking for land to place Pods on for rent and encourage any readers to get in touch with us if you have suitable land.

Whichever party is elected, let’s hope we see the visionary thought and practical application New Zealand needs in order to drive positive change to make housing affordable for all.
For more detailed information on each parties’ policies see:
https://www.national.org.nz/national_s_comprehensive_housing_plan
https://www.labour.org.nz/housing