INDEPENDENT NEWS

Undoing the housing damage done by Labour

Published: Mon 16 Dec 2019 12:41 PM
16 December 2019
National will scrap the KiwiBuild brand, stop wasting taxpayers’ money, and press ahead with initiatives that will actually put roofs over New Zealanders’ heads, Housing spokesperson Judith Collins and Social Housing spokesperson Simon O’Connor say.
“KiwiBuild is the biggest public policy failure in a generation. Smacking KiwiBuild stickers on houses actually makes them harder to sell, not easier,” Ms Collins says.
“When National left office we had more than 27,000 home in the development pipeline thanks to the work of HLC, which replaced rundown houses on large sections with three times the number of warm, dry homes. We will continue this good work if elected in 2020.
“National will continue to support those able to enter the private market through our KiwiSaver HomeStart grants of between $3000 and $5000 per person for purchasing an existing home or up to $10,000 for building or purchasing a new home.”
Mr O’Connor says National will better manage the Government’s financial investment in social housing assets to build more and improve the quality of our social housing stock.
“Labour should be ashamed of the fact its housing policies have seen the number of people waiting for state housing explode on its watch to almost 14,000 – it’s a national tragedy.
“National will right this wrong. We will prioritise our most vulnerable Kiwis and introduce a target to reduce the time it takes MSD to house Priority-A clients on the social housing register
“We will throw our weight behind the community housing sector, which wants to do more to help New Zealanders into homes but needs better support from government.
“This support may be in the form of rent-to-buy schemes, the development of housing bonds, shared equity schemes, underwriting the building of social housing by community housing providers, or a policy shift to allow housing providers to manage state homes.
“National is concerned about anti-social behaviours, such as violence and drug use, and is keen to make sure social housing is safe for everyone, including children.
“We will explore a Remind, Remedy, Remove system. This would see a housing provider given a warning (reminder) when poor behaviour is demonstrated; assistance to fix an issue (remedy); and in cases where a tenant refuses to change, they should be removed.
National is also considering:
• Introducing a dollar-for-dollar scheme with homeless shelters to either improve or expand their facilities and services
• Extending Housing First to help people off the streets and into stable housing, including those with mental health issues.
“National built well over 3000 state homes during our previous term in government. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and deliver for New Zealanders again if elected in 2020.”
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