If our majority Labour Government is true to its roots it will:
- Aim to increase the rate of state house building from the present 2000-3000, to 5000-10,000 over the next ten years. This along with necessary sales and demolition, would result in an increase from the present 64,000 units, to somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000.
2. Find cost effective ways of helping local government finance the infrastructure costs of new housing sites. The NZ Initiative has some some good policy work here.
3. Regulatory reform, including the RMA, is complex but must be done with great care and at speed.
Affordable housing is possible but it requires many things, including a Government that actually wants to achieve it. At present it looks like the PM and Finance Minister only want to slow home price rises, not reduce them back to the 2017 prices, when housing was a “crisis” in the eyes of Labour, and now just a serious problem.
This is not good enough – housing affordability should be a very high priority for the government – it trumps all but the economy. My big concern with the Government is their lack of understanding of how the machinery of state actually works.
It took nearly 40 years of poor public policy to create the present situation. It could be fixed within ten. Let’s see if our Government has the fortitude to grasp the nettle.