Failing to address unaffordable housing | The Jackal

30 Oct 2012

Failing to address unaffordable housing

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The Government is to place a six-month time limit on councils processing consents for medium-size projects including housing developments as part of its push to make homes affordable.

It is also looking to councils to free up more land for building and has announced an inquiry into the building industry to identify barriers to improving housing affordability.

The measures announced this afternoon by Finance Minister Bill English are the Government's response to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into housing affordability.

Typical National ploy... Announce policy that has the appearance of being advantageous but will in reality make the problem worse. Giving housing property investors and developers even more ways of cutting corners to maximize their profits while claiming this will help make housing more affordable is pretty damn conceited if you ask me.

Its over-investment because of tax-breaks that's the main factor in driving up house prices, not a lack of places to build. National and their Productivity Commission have entirely failed to address this issue. The problem has got so bad that New Zealand's housing estate is now being used as a tax-haven by foreigners. Still the government shows absolutely no concern or willingness to remedy the problem.

Home Affordability: The Government's Four Key Aims:

* Increasing land supply - this will include more greenfields and brownfields developments and allow further densification of cities, where appropriate.

* Reducing delays and costs of RMA processes associated with housing - this includes introducing a six-month time limit on council processing of medium-sized consents.

* Improving the timely provision of infrastructure to support new housing - this will include considering new ways to co-ordinate and manage infrastructure for subdivisions.

* Improving productivity in the construction sector.

Did the rightwing not learn anything from the leaky building debacle that resulted from widespread deregulation? The main player who benefitted from that was Fletcher Building because they supplied most of the defective materials. I guess their lobbyists have been working overtime again to ensure more deregulation... And once again, when the problems surface, they will likely not be held to account.

In my opinion, affordable housing should be a human right for everybody, and in a country like New Zealand there should be an overabundance of healthy homes for people to live in. The fact that over half of the countries houses are not maintained properly and are grossly overpriced is perhaps the governments biggest failure.

Without the current lot of diplomatic scoundrels showing any gumption to address the real issues concerning unaffordable housing, we should expect the amount of Kiwi families who own the house they live in to continue to decline. I guess that brighter future John Key talked about doesn't apply to the New Zealanders who are forced to indefinitely rent the house they live in.