How will you solve hous­ing is­sues?

Northern News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

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

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