How will you solve housing issues?
The Northern News asked Tai Tokerau candidates what they would do to tackle the housing issues in the North.
Maki Herbert: With the development of the hemp industry, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party see building hemp houses elevating the shortage of accommodation in Northland. Did you know: It takes one hector of hemp, made into ‘Hemp Crete’, to build an average three bedroom home at a third of the cost of building a standard three bedroom house - allowing the average Kiwi to buy their first home and letting up on the rental market. Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party would encourage all runanga and councils to embrace the alterative building opportunity. Hemp is legal to grow however it is heavily regulated - a hemp licence can be found on the Ministry of Health website.
Godfrey Rudolph: I grew up believing home is your Turangawaewae - where you felt safe, warm and connected to those you care most for. The dream of owning your home has become unaffordable under the current Government. The government has a responsibility to make housing affordable for everyone. The Green Party believes it’s too hard for many people to pay rent and save for a home deposit or mortgage. The Green Party will look towards building 15,000 new homes - 10,000 of these would be sold over ten years to households who can’t afford a mortgage/ deposit through the ‘Home for Life’ rent-to-own scheme. The remaining 5,000 homes would be sold to community housing providers. Under the scheme, homeowners would make a weekly payment (rent and the rest would gradually buy equity) to the Government of up to 30 per cent of their income. With each payment, part of the ownership of the home would transfer to the household. The Green Party would build around 450 new state homes - built in the highest-need areas and prioritising housing the homeless.
Kelvin Davis: Labour will immediately stop National’s state house sell off and commit to increasing the number of state houses by at least 1000 homes per year. HNZ will become a public service with one job - to focus on housing people in need. This will leave HNZ more money to invest in housing families and repairing cold, damp state homes. We will work to end homelessness by increasing emergency housing, developing a national strategy and implementing minimum standards for boarding houses. Labour will ban foreign investors from buying existing homes stopping them from pushing prices out of reach of first home buyers. Labour will also extend the bright line test (currently two years) to five years. This will target investors who buy houses aiming to make a quick capital gain. Speculators will no longer be able to use tax losses on rentals to offset tax on other income which gives them an unfair advantage over people looking to buy their first home. Labour will work to ensure all New Zealanders have a fair shot at owning their own warm, dry, safe home.
Hone Harawira: The housing crisis began when Labour decided to privatise the housing corporation. Ever since then, both Labour and National have been raising state rentals, evicting state tenants, and selling state houses. That’s what caused the homelessness we see all round the country, even up North. Instead of fixing the problem, Government is spending millions to put the homeless up in motels. We have hundreds of empty state houses in the North, (waiting to be sold on the open market) while Labour and National’s big focus is on building ‘‘affordable’’ housing that people who need a house can’t afford. Mana says it’s the Government’s responsibility to house the homeless. Don’t sell state houses. Fix them up, now, and rent them to poor whanau at 25 per cent of their income. And build 2000 new state houses in the North, every year, until the housing crisis is over. That way you create jobs, tackle the state housing shortage, free up private rentals, and you start to address the long term costs of homelessness.
Hone Harawira, Mana
Maki Herbert, ALCP
Godfrey Rudolph, Green Party
Kelvin Davis, Labour