INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alliance housing policy

Published: Mon 4 Oct 1999 12:33 AM
Alliance housing policy
Mon Oct 4 1999
Income related rents for state houses, 1000 new state house a year and financial assistance for first home buyers are the main features of the Alliance housing policy.
The policy was released today at simultaneous events in Auckland and Palmerston North to mark National Housing Day.
Alliance housing spokesperson Grant Gillon said income related rents for state houses would be introduced immediately and phased down to 25% of net household income over three years.
'Families living in state houses are paying market rents at appallingly high levels. In many cases more than 60% of household income is going just on rent.
'Redu cing state house rentals has the effect of driving down market rents in the private sector, particularly at the lower end, so everyone benefits through the flow-on effects.
'Money was allocated in the Alliance economic development budget to increase the number of state house rental properties.
'The building programme will need time to set up as resources in the building industry are already stretched. In the first year it is our intention to see 500 extra houses started, increasing to a thousand houses by the third year.
'A National Housing Authority will be established under the Alliance policy to co-ordinate housing policy.Among its tasks would be to look into ways in which assistance could be made available to first home buyers and those who might not otherwise be able to purchase their own homes.
'In 1989 New Zealand had the highest rate of home ownership in the world. We've now lost that position and housing experts blame a rapidly increasing house prices, high real interest rates and market rents which are so high that it makes it very difficult for potential home owners to save a deposit.
'The Alliance will explore a variety of options for financing and promoting home ownership,' Grant Gillon said. An extra $45 million would be spent to bring in income related rents in the first year, rising to $135 million a year after three years. $182 million has been set aside from the Alliance capital budget for new state houses and to provide assistance for first home buyers.
Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance

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