National addresses housing with $1b fund

At the National Party conference John Key has announced new measures aimed at alleviating the housing problems in high growth centres, which currently means Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Hamilton.

It includes a new contestable Housing Infrastructure Fund for councils to speed up building  in new housing areas.

Details are on National’s  website: Housing affordability

National is committed to addressing the challenge of housing and we have a comprehensive programme of work underway.

National has a comprehensive package of measures underway to address the challenge of housing supply and affordability.

Our package includes:

  • Creating special housing areas in high demand areas across New Zealand to fast-track the building of homes.
  • A $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate new housing in the high-demand areas where it’s needed most. The new fund will focus squarely on financing infrastructure like roads and water needed to support new housing.
  • Setting up independent Urban Development Authorities to speed up housing development in high-demand areas – they’ve proved successful in many other countries.
  • Reforming the Resource Management Act to make it easier for councils and developers to get houses consented and built.
  • Tightened rules to ensure people buying and selling property for profit pay their fair share of tax.
  • Requiring Councils to ensure land supply for housing keeps pace with growth.
  • Passed legislation to restrict Council development charges to reduce the cost of building.

There are no quick fixes – these issues are longstanding – but there are positive signs we’re making good progress.

Most of these measures were already in place but the $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund is new.

The best way to address housing affordability is to build more houses and build them faster and we have a comprehensive programme underway to help make this happen.

We will not allow unresponsive planning and slow infrastructure development to lock New Zealanders out of much-needed housing.

Our focus will continue to be on addressing this housing challenge and helping New Zealanders and their families get ahead.

Not surprisingly there are critics.

Today’s announcement notwithstanding, we still lack a coherent housing plan – it’s why we need a Housing Summit to bring one together

Nats’ on infrastructure more smoke & mirrors from Govt desperate to look like doing something. Councils can already borrow this money.

Instead of on-lending $1 bn to Councils why won’t the Govt just do the obvious thing and Build. More. Houses?

We need smarter approach to infrastructure ie bond-financing & targeted rate. On-lending $1bn to Councils classic Nat piecemeal response.

Because high-growth Councils are reluctant to take on too much debt. This announcement wont change that.

The housing issues and the debate on them are far from over.

Leave a comment

19 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  3rd July 2016

    From Tyford
    “Because high-growth Councils are reluctant to take on too much debt. This announcement wont change that.”

    Really? I imagine Auckland Council have already got their application in. Its not like they don’t need the money.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  3rd July 2016

    Twyford is dead right….’Nats’ on infrastructure more smoke & mirrors from Govt desperate to look like doing something. Councils can already borrow this money.’.National do not want to upset their FIRE friends.Non productive parasites.

    Reply
    • Another Blazing piece of a lack of Economics 101….Twyford is dead wrong…Infrastructure has proven to be the single biggest constraint on building replacement and new homes in the main areas of need As a taxpayer, I am attracted to a solution based on the Government borrowing.on the Global Market the sum of $1 billion, particularly at this stage of the Global Economic response to the 2008 Recession. It is the cheapest money we will get for a long time to come! The level of interest payable at the moment is very low by historical comparisons. The thing I like about the National plan is that, it is not a Grant from taxpayer funds, instead the developers and the eventual owner of the house will have to pay back the taxpayer funded development, through rates and taxes paid on the money borrowed. So we get our tax investment back to be used for other goodies on the list of the “wannahaves” and those who give to the community as a whole. Smoke and mirrors is a hackneyed phrase which should be interpreted as “I don’t know what I’m criticising, but I have to say something negative!”

      Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  3rd July 2016

    ‘Infrastructure has proven to be the single biggest constraint on building replacement and new homes in the main areas of need ‘….yes Colonel but your original idea of limiting foreign domiciled buyers to new builds would achieve a better result ,faster.Crisis…what crisis?Tax haven…what tax haven?Predictable and impotent.

    Reply
    • John Schmidt

       /  3rd July 2016

      Except that’s not where the demand problem is. It’s internal investors driving the demand with something like 50% of sales being investors like mum and dad’s who want to invest for their retirement, the remainder being those buying a home. How would you stop or control these primary causes of housing demand.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  3rd July 2016

        if you make one asset class most favourable for investors through governance,taxation or lack of,and indulge a lazy,one trick pony banking cartel ,and then add open slather for foreigners to park money in NZ RE,you get what we have got…..a total cluster fuck.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  3rd July 2016

        Consider the proportion of renting vs home owning households in NZ then the proportion of investors buying homes is not disproportionate last time I looked at the data.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  4th July 2016

          home ownership is decreasing ,thats a fact.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th July 2016

            That’s probably an international trend as mobility and later parenthood increases.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  4th July 2016

              not a good trend.In Europe its common to expect to rent,in NZ we grow up expecting to own our own little 3/4 acre,part of this pavlova paradise to paraphrase Austin Mitchell.I know forget the 3/4 dimension.

    • Gezza

       /  4th July 2016

      We bought our first house in 1980. Back section, on a hill, shared driveway. Great view. Builder had two sections there. His plans, we made small modifications. $40k to build the top story first over a stilted space for a double garage downstairs. Cheap house in an expensive area. Used cheapest materials for everything. Clad in weatherside, painted. Recommended by builder. A Hardie product. Hardly ever saw the builder after signing up, he was a quantity surveyor mostly. Filthy rich, had a fantastic architecturally designed house in the same area with a separate enclosed pool. Thought I’d hate to be painting or cleaning it.

      We had to watch the subbies like hawks or they’d depart from the plans here & there and not tell you. A couple of arguments with the builder when he wanted to not put in a wall at the end of the driveway but we won easily as it was in the plans so up him & his lawyer. He’d underestimated how high it needed to be & how much concrete needed. Next door house, a bit smaller than ours, was built six months later and they finished the shared driveway then. Did all the landscaping myself, plus log & brick walls, on my own, on weekends & after work in Summer. Got a decent builder to build in downstairs-double garage, 2nd bathroom, music/spare bed room. Local council inspectors came at key points to sign off compliance project stages. All seemed to go ok. I think it took about 4 months from go to whoa.

      We did the interior decorating ourselves-just got a stopper in beforehand. Father in law was a painter decorater so we worked together & I helped him repaint his house.

      We put in 20% deposit from savings, increased when living with the in-laws after the landlord raised the rent beyond what we were prepared to pay, and got a 30 year mortgage from State Advances (I think it was still called), @ 3% interest. When State Advances got flogged off to private interests and we were notified of the higher interest to be charged, the in-laws said nah & loaned us the balance and we paid the mortgage off. He was low-wage, she was medium wage clerical worker. Repaid them over the next 15 years. They didn’t want interest so we just kept a receipt book and kept paying them for another couple of k & stopped when they realised and told us to.

      Weatherside cladding was a major failed product and we had to re-clad after . Only 3/4 of our boards had failed so we replaced those at their cost and paid for the remainder ourselves.

      Can people on low to medium wages still get houses like this these days?

      Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  3rd July 2016

    Te Ara – The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
    Story: Housing and government
    Page 3 – A property-owning democracy
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/housing-and-government/page-3

    Reply
  5. Blazer, we as a country need a population replacement policy which says 3 children are a costly venture, but two is enough. We also need to discuss with the elders of the Pacific Island Community and Maori Community how to modify their cultural need for large families in the New Zealand environment. I have personally experienced the situation where up to 20 Polynesian Adults and children were regularly housed in a standard UK designed 3 bedroom home. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable in New Zealand for health and safety reasons as well as cultural reasons. We also need to persuade young women and their male partners that they have a responsibility to exercise restraint and use contraception to prevent single parent births. Both parties have to meet their responsibility to the Community and be mature bout their sexual habits. These points above are the real elephant in the room, and made with an open mind and absolutely no racist or gender criticisms intended.

    Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  4th July 2016

    Can’t agree.A lot of ethnicities like to have large families.We can build bigger homes to cater for them.Home grown kiwis are preferable to having to rely on immigration to boost GDP and the population.Australia realising how the aging population would impact in future years actually introduced a $6000 ‘baby bonus’.Not sure if it is still going now but I know they altered the lump sum method and drip fed it.I well remember in Brisbane in 2010 and noticing pregnant mums pushing strollers with a toddler in tow as well.The American Dream ,-married couple with 2 children and a mortgage is all over,thanks largely to neo liberal policies and non accountable central banks.Time to reset our priorities.

    Reply
    • Get real Blazer. Will you pay for a house for 20 plus people? This is the real world, and I for one am sick of being ripped off by your Liberal values. This is the 21st Century that needs people to face the consequences of their decisions. Times are a changing mate, get with the flow! Whats this shit about the American dream? This is New Zealand and we do our own thing, or have you a different interpretation?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  4th July 2016

        steady Col,steady ,you’ll blow a foo foo valve if you’;re not careful!How are you getting ripped off ?NZ is a U.S satellite.As John Kerry said when it comes to NZ ..’we don’t even need to…ask’!

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th July 2016

    Local government should borrow to fund infrastructure and pay it off with future rates like every other business. The problem is that it is spending rates money on too many other white elephants – either allowed or mandated by central government.

    Reply
  8. Pete Kane

     /  4th July 2016

    Unfortunately Alan, the local government ‘industry’ has a similar MO to the Treaty Settlements ‘induxtry’. Hardley surprising given they were born at the same time and went through school together.

    Reply

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