Greens urge 'bold action' on housing ahead of Govt's first housing package

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Mar 2021, 4:08PM
Julie Anne Genter during question time in Parliament , Parliament, Wellington. 06 August, 2019. NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell
Julie Anne Genter during question time in Parliament , Parliament, Wellington. 06 August, 2019. NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell

Greens urge 'bold action' on housing ahead of Govt's first housing package

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Mar 2021, 4:08PM

The Green Party has unveiled its plan to stop the "runaway housing crisis" as the Government gears up to announce the first of its much-anticipated steps to address the overheated market.

But the plan does not come from Marama Davidson – who is an Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness).

Rather, the party's finance spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter has outlined what the Greens want to be done in the housing space, which is:

  • Removing the five-year cap for the bright-line test
    • Ending interest-only mortgages
    • Implement debt-to-income ratios, especially for property investors
    • Requiring cash deposits for investment properties
    • The Government to spend more money on income support schemes
    • Kāinga Ora to lead a large-scale urban redevelopment and home buying programme

The Greens plan comes as house prices across the country continue to rise sharply.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, the national median selling price increased by $50,000 from January, while Auckland's median price was up $100,000 for the month.

Give this rapid increase, Genter said the Greens are calling for "bold, urgent interventions in the housing market".

"We must use all the tools in the toolbox to stop the accelerating housing crisis in its tracks, failure to do so will mean things only keep getting worse.

"Everyone has the right to a decent, affordable home, but house prices are out of control."

Her comments come a week ahead of the Government's first housing-related announcement, due to be delivered next week.

It was originally meant to be unveiled in mid-February, but the two Auckland level 3 lockdowns pushed the schedule out.

Because of this, the announcement will include some supply measures as well as the originally planned demand-side measures.

The Government has stayed relatively mum on what it plans to announce – Finance Minister Grant Robertson has deliberately not gone into specifics.

But he said on Tuesday morning that the package of housing policies the Government is due to unveil next week will include a "mixture of both incentives to go [invest] elsewhere and disincentives within the housing system".

Text by , NZ Herald