I’m urging the Government to pursue innovative ideas to encourage a surge in new house building. Here’s just five they should seek advice on today:
Strengthen the National Policy Statement on Urban Development: The Government should bring this urgent rezoning of land by local authorities forward, and increase the competitiveness margin, to enable intensification and growth.
Remove the Auckland Urban Boundary: This arbitrary line has been found to add $50,000 or more to the average cost of houses in Auckland. The Government committed to removing it in 2017 but progress has stalled.
Make Kāinga Ora capital available to community housing providers: Proven social housing providers have land and consents for new housing projects ready to go. The Government could make these projects happen immediately by releasing some of the taxpayer funding ring-fenced for future social housing.
Establish a Housing Infrastructure Fund: This would help local government finance the pipes and roads required to accelerate rezoning of land for Greenfields developments.
Implement new finance models: The Government should work with industry to develop finance models that leverage Accommodation Supplement and Income-Related Rent entitlements to drive new housing development.
This is not a comprehensive list of actions, but it shows how much more the Government could be doing.
In a time of crisis with some of the most unaffordable house prices in the world, rapidly reducing rates of home ownership and nearly 23,000 New Zealanders waiting for a state house, the Government must be open to fresh thinking.
National continues to support repeal and replacement of the Resource Management Act to remove the long-standing planning barriers that are holding back houses from being built, but we know more immediate action is also needed.
The last Labour Government wasted time trying to rescue its doomed KiwiBuild programme and chewing over a Capital Gains Tax. This term, New Zealanders need them to focus on initiatives that will actually make a difference.
National will keep putting forward constructive ideas to address New Zealand’s severe housing shortage.
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