27 January 2009
Faster solutions needed for housing crisis: Greens
New evidence of the housing affordability crisis means National must look harder and faster for solutions, including measures proposed by the Green Party.
"Ordinary Kiwis continue to struggle with the cost of housing despite lower house prices and continued cuts to the official cash rate and there is more Government can do," Green Party Housing Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.
"New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association Chief Executive John Walley is right that introducing a Capital Gains Tax will help with affordability and encourage investment in manufacturing, research and technology, the productive base of our economy.
"We also welcome some of the measures announced by Housing Minister Phil Heatley this week, most notably his commitment to working with councils to make it easier for Maori to build on communally-owned land, something which is a major concern for tangata whenua in areas of dire housing need like Northland and Tairawhiti.
"But easing planning restrictions is only one part of what is needed.
"Access to capital, paying for infrastructure development, and enabling hapu and iwi to play a key role in decision-making are also crucial steps.
"The Greens are also pleased to see the Housing Innovation Fund, which supports community-based projects, will be lifted from $12m to $20m, but support a bigger boost given the potential of the community sector to meet housing need.
"There is no quick fix to our housing crisis, but the Green Party calls on National to go further and faster," Ms Bradford says. She has identified four steps for the Government:
* A rapid expansion in state housing build over the next three years
* The reinstatement of the Green Homes Fund
* Major funding and capitalisation for community-based and Maori housing projects
* The introduction of a capital gains tax on all but the family home
"Bold investment in state and community-based housing plus a CGT would create jobs, green our housing stock and address housing inadequacies."
* Full details of Green Housing policy are available on our website at: http://www.greens.org.nz/node/19598