“To really solve the emergency housing crisis, the next Government needs to do more than change who builds the houses for the Government. Labour says Kainga Ora should build for the Government, National says private providers should build homes for the Government, ACT says National's plan is better but doesn’t even touch the real issue,” according to ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brooke van Velden.
“National is right that Kainga Ora is a disaster, actually pushing up housing costs by paying over the odds for land, materials, and skilled workers. ACT agrees that private providers should be given a shot at helping on an equal basis, but in reality who builds Government houses is a fraction of the real problem.
“The real problems are that the rules for getting a resource consent are too complicated and it takes too long. Infrastructure funding is inadequate, so councils see development as a cost. Council building inspections are too inflexible for innovation, but also managed to miss leaky buildings. These problems push up costs no matter who the builder is.
“In order to fix a housing crisis, governments need to commit to doing things differently. Labour, and National before them, have tinkered around the edges. But building costs are still too high, and there is still too much unnecessary red tape, which is why Kiwis end up with such high house prices and so many people are locked out of the market.
“ACT is the only party that understands that if you want to build more houses, you need to cut unnecessary red tape, not just rewrite it. And if you want changes to stick, you need to get the community on board.
“ACT has policies to address these issues. Whether it is sharing GST with local councils on consents to fund infrastructure, or the Materials Equivalence Register which would ensure more competition and address supply issues around building materials. With tomorrow’s housing announcement we’ll show New Zealand how serious we are about making it easier to build more homes.
“With successive Governments failing on housing it is clear real change is needed. ACT has the policies to make housing more affordable.”