How to fix Hutt’s hous­ing prob­lem

The Hutt News - - OUT & ABOUT -

We asked Hutt South can­di­dates what they would do for hous­ing in Lower Hutt if elected.

VIR­GINIA HOR­ROCKS

Green Party

Dur­ing the last sixteen years both Labour and Na­tional have been happy to pre­tend ris­ing house prices are a sign of na­tional pros­per­ity and grow­ing in­di­vid­ual wealth. As those with­out homes were shut out of the mar­ket and spec­u­la­tion in houses be­came ram­pant those par­ties woke up to the fact we have a hous­ing cri­sis and ev­ery­one started wring­ing their hands.

The Green Party’s vi­sion is a coun­try where safe, se­cure, warm, and dry hous­ing is an affordable re­al­ity for ev­ery­one.

The Greens were the first po­lit­i­cal party to draw at­ten­tion to the dan­gers of damp, cold homes and ini­ti­ated theWar­mUp New Zealand home in­su­la­tion scheme, a per­fect ex­am­ple of what the Greens mean by smart, green eco­nom­ics.

Our Home for Life plan will help New Zealan­ders get into their own homes by es­tab­lish­ing a rent-to-buy pro­gramme and by cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mu­nity hous­ing providers to play a big­ger part in solv­ing the hous­ing cri­sis.

As a part of a gov­ern­ment-build pro­gramme, the Green Party will make 10,000 new homes over ten years avail­able to peo­ple who can’t af­ford a de­posit or a nor­mal com­mer­cial mort­gage, through pro­gres­sive own­er­ship rent-to-buy ar­range­ments.

Our plan will save peo­ple more than $100 a week com­pared to a com­mer­cial mort­gage.

This pro­gramme will work along­side any gov­ern­ment plan to build more affordable homes. It will pro­vide ac­cess to affordable, sta­ble hous­ing and get peo­ple out of ex­pen­sive ren­tals and into their own homes.

ANDY PARKINS

ACT

Been feel­ing the pinch lately? That’s likely to be due to hous­ing. First, a quick statis­tic. Our bot­tom 20 per cent of in­come earn­ers are spend­ing 54 per cent of their in­come on hous­ing. That’s over twice what it was at the peak of our build­ing boom in the 1970s. When our most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple are un­able to put a roof over their head, that’s a prob­lem that should have been dealt with 20 years ago, and ACT’s po­si­tion has al­ways been the same.

It is ridicu­lous that the same rules on builds that ap­ply in Fiord­land, which by the way ab­so­lutely should stay, also ap­ply here in sub­ur­bia.

And that’s why ACT will scrap the RMA, re­place it with an Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment Act, and let peo­ple start build­ing. The other par­ties say they will need to over­ride it to com­plete their am­bi­tious goals any­way, so why does ev­ery­one else miss out, just so they can win an elec­tion?

ACT will also give half of the GST on all con­struc­tion costs to the coun­cil that con­sents the build. This pays for the in­fras­truc­ture to con­nect the house up and de­crease con­sent costs, but the coun­cil won’t come past the front gate. Build­ing in­spec­tions will be taken up by in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, do­ing away with coun­cil, and al­low the al­most to­tal mo­nop­oly on build­ing prod­ucts to be fi­nally pen­e­trated by equally good in­ter­na­tional prod­uct.

Keep bu­reau­cracy out, free up land, pay for in­fras­truc­ture, and low­er­ing the cost of build­ing ma­te­ri­als. That’s what builds houses.

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