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Labour keeps housing sector moving - Ardern, Woods

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

- Five-point plan to maintain construction momentum during COVID-19:

Residential Development Response Fund

Continuing to deliver more than 18,000 public houses

Continuing to support first home buyers

Construction Sector Accord

Removing barriers to building homes with RMA changes

- Partnering with Māori through MAIHI to support the implementation of the Homelessness Action Plan, and Iwi Māori pathway for progressive home ownership

- Supporting energy efficiency, including through a new mandatory energy efficiency certificate to support homeowners to reduce costs

- Regulating property managers to protect landlords and tenants

The Labour Party will keep the housing sector moving with actions already underway that are delivering new homes, increasing housing supply, creating jobs and stimulating the economy.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says the housing plan is building on the policies Labour implemented in our first term, with momentum building in public housing, KiwiBuild properties and market developments, and pathways for home ownership.

"Labour stopped the wholesale sell off of public housing, banned offshore speculation and has invested heavily in rebuilding our public and emergency housing safety net.

"We firmly believe that all New Zealanders have the right to live in warm, dry, healthy homes, whether we rent or own our homes. We will continue to ensure tenants and landlords have a fair deal by regulating property managers, following our work setting basic health standards for rental properties" said Jacinda Ardern.

"We are committed to reducing barriers to the building of new homes and the repeal of the Resource Management Act, along with work we have done on to better integrate planning and investment in urban development, infrastructure and transport."

"We prioritised tackling homelessness and starting work to end our reliance on motels. Our Homelessness Action Plan, was crucial to housing over one thousand rough sleepers during the COVID-19 lockdown."

"We stopped National’s state house sell-off and funded over 18,000 public and transitional homes to be delivered by 2024. This is adding to our housing stock, supporting the construction sector, and maintaining and growing jobs with apprenticeships," Jacinda Ardern said.

Labour’s Housing spokesperson Megan Woods said belonging to the Construction Sector Accord is a key mechanism to increasing productivity and restoring confidence in the sector.

The recent Government announcement of a $350 million fund to support the residential construction sector due to COVID is a direct response to the mistakes National made following the Global Financial Crisis, when the rate of new affordable housing declined, because developers couldn’t access finance.

"We are supporting developers in the COVID recovery with Government underwrites for housing developments that will create jobs and build homes."

Dr Woods says similar underwriting happens on KiwiBuild developments, which have to date built over 600 homes, with nearly a thousand under construction. They have also enabled another 1500 market homes to be built.

"I’ve seen first-hand how excited new owners are to get into their KiwiBuild homes getting into their properties, and they are proving popular with home buyers who are looking for affordable homes.

"Our Progressive Home Ownership scheme is starting to help people into their first homes and the next phase will see Kāinga Ora offer shared ownership support for households with an annual income of under $130,000.

Labour will introduce the regulation of property management services to ensure they meet professional standards and Code of Conduct.

"Multiple groups from Consumer NZ to the Property Council have called for action on lifting the performance of property management services," said Megan Woods.

Labour will also introduce Energy Performance Certificate ratings for residential buildings, so home buyers can make informed decisions about how much it will cost to heat and cool.

"We absolutely recognise that there is a significant issue with housing in New Zealand, but a number of actions are already underway to increase housing supply and get people into warm, dry housing. We have made a great start, and we need to keep moving," said Jacinda Ardern.

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