Thursday, 18 February 2021

Minister waffles, renters in the cold


“Housing Minister Megan Woods’ vague promises of supply measures to ease housing pressures won’t help a single renter struggling to get a roof over their head,” says ACT Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“TradeMe data out today shows the median weekly rent for medium houses across New Zealand reached a new record in January, while the biggest annual increase was in one-to-two bedroom houses.

“Year-on-year rental inquiries on the TradeMe site rose 86 per cent while rental supply increased just 19 per cent.

“Answering my questions in Parliament today the Minister made constant reference to supply being on the way – seven references in fact – but didn’t give a single detail as to how she would deliver more houses, and didn’t have any answer to my crucial question, how many?

“It reminds me of Jacinda Ardern’s tweet in 2016 that the ‘Government’s constant reference to their comprehensive housing plan is proof that repeating something constantly doesn’t make it true.’

“Every day we have the Housing and Finance Minister chorusing that a suite of supply and demand measures is on the way.

“But neither is able to say what the measures are, nor when they’ll arrive.

“This will be cold comfort to renters across the country, including tertiary students trying find rental accommodation near their places of learning.

“All Minister Woods could do in Parliament today was play down expectations, saying ‘supply-side measures do take a period of time to kick in.’

“Well, they do under this Government.

“ACT has been clear on the prescription for success for some time now.

“We need to unshackle land supply, infrastructure financing and overhaul consenting in a policy that would once again see us Build Like the Boomers.”

ENDS