What the main par­ties think

State hous­ing in Porirua has been a thorny sub­ject dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign. Jim Chipp takes a close look at the is­sue.

Kapi-Mana News - - ELECTION 2014 -

Con­ser­va­tive Party pol­icy spokesman Re­gan Mon­a­han said his party was not against so­cial hous­ing. It wanted to in­sti­gate a rent-to-buy op­tion to al­low state hous­ing stock to be re­plen­ished.

Peo­ple should not be ousted from the area where they live, but that did not mean the gov­ern­ment should be sub­si­dis­ing their rent when there were oth­ers in more ur­gent need, he said.

Green Party hous­ing spokes­woman Holly Walker said home own­er­ship was a popular goal, but was no longer at­tain­able for many peo­ple. Own­er­ship gave peo­ple se­cu­rity so chil­dren were not fre­quently chang­ing schools and it en­cour­aged them to im­prove the qual­ity of their home.

‘‘We can ex­tend those ben­e­fits to peo­ple who are rent­ing if we have the right pol­icy set­tings.’’

Labour Party hous­ing spokesman Phil Twyford said Na­tional had re­duced the num­ber of state houses and al­lowed thou­sands to lie boarded-up and empty.

‘‘ In the mid­dle of a hous­ing short­age the ob­vi­ous thing to do is to build more state houses.’’

Hous­ing New Zealand should be big­ger and more ca­pa­ble, and there was a role for hous­ing trusts and other non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing iwi.

Na­tional says it will con­tinue to en­sure a fit-for-pur­pose so­cial hous­ing sec­tor, and main­tain its record on qual­ity state houses for those with the high­est hous­ing needs. Com­mu­nity hous­ing providers will be sup­ported and the record $2.9 bil­lion in­vest­ment over 10 years an­nounced in 2012 will con­tinue.

New Zealand First hous­ing spokesman De­nis O’Rourke said hous­ing stock would be re­viewed and units that could be quickly re­fur­bished would be re-let un­til new hous­ing stock could be built.

Hous­ing New Zealand would be in­structed to ac­cel­er­ate and ex­pand its build­ing pro­gramme in the ar­eas of the great­est need and funded ac­cord­ingly.

United Fu­ture leader and Ohariu can­di­date Peter Dunne said his party sup­ported the de­vel­op­ment of so­cial hous­ing projects, col­lab­o­rat­ing with good so­cial providers and gov­ern­ment own­er­ship of a core stock of so­cial hous­ing.

‘‘We are very con­cerned about the large num­bers of state houses be­ing empty while they are earth­quake strength­ened. I don’t think it’s a good look to have hous­ing short­ages and hous­ing stock empty.’’

ACT did not re­ply by our dead­line.

Photo: JIM CHIPP

Old and new: Greens hous­ing spokes­woman Holly Walker with old Hous­ing New Zealand prop­er­ties at Po­mare.

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