"The next Government will have to fix the housing mess that ACT predicted, and has solutions to,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“Speaking to Q+A this morning, National’s Housing spokesperson Chris Bishop refused to commit to supporting the housing deal his party made with Labour through to the election, saying they’re “open to sensible changes” and are “carefully monitoring the way in which councils are approaching it.

“Bishop also said there have been no proposals to change the law. ACT wrote to National with proposed changes back in 2021, and introduced proposed changes when the law was rushed through Parliament. The proposals are there, and ACT is ready to see them implemented in a future Government.

“As ACT has said right from the start, this policy won’t deliver the homes the next generation needs. That’s because it focused on changing planning laws when there is already enough land zoned for housing. It didn’t deal to the real constraints on building more homes, which is infrastructure supply.

“ACT has a real solution to the housing crisis. The real issue is infrastructure financing and funding.

“Councils can’t afford it. Without more infrastructure, there won't be more houses in total, they'll just be in different places.

“I have a Member’s Bill before Parliament that would introduce a GST-sharing scheme that would provide councils with more resources to cope with a growing population.

“Government would share 50 per cent of the GST revenue of building a new house with the local council that issued the consent to help them cover the infrastructure costs associated with new housing developments. This would provide the environment for local councils to approve more housing consents and enable builders to build houses with less delay.

“Meanwhile, the Medium Density Residential Standard will create enormous conflict in each community. It means someone can build a three story building one metre from your boundary with no design standards. It could mean floor to ceiling windows on the third floor looking into your living room, with no thought for existing homeowners.

“However, for all that, there will not be more homes built. The number of homes built will continue to be limited by infrastructure, builder, and material supplies. Labour and National’s three-by-three deal will just mean homes are built in different places.

“ACT proposed at the time, and proposes now, important changes to the law. The Medium Density Residential Standard should be replaced with Auckland’s Mixed Housing Suburban (MHS) zone. ACT put up this amendment when the law was debated last year, we still have it ready to go.

“The MHS still allows more intensification than the status quo, but with design standards that are sympathetic to existing neighbourhoods and property owners. That would be a far more sensible approach than imposing the MDRS on the whole country.

“ACT also proposes that councils be able to unilaterally exempt areas from intensification beyond their current plans by allowing them to identify infrastructure as a Qualifying Matter in certain areas. The alternative is that we’ll get sewage in the streets when intensification happens where councils had asked people not to intensify for that very reason.

“These simple changes would put us in a much better place to go forward as a more united, less divided community, with more housing built for the next generation.

“This won’t be the last we hear of the consequences of this bad law. ACT is committed to resolving these issues in Government.”

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