Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is promising to fix New Zealand’s housing crisis and has unveiled new details of her Government’s state housing plan.
The country’s state house waiting list continues to balloon – nearly 22,500 people are now on the public housing waitlist.
The Government this morning releases its Public Housing Plan, which identifies where in the country the additional 8000 state and transition houses will go.
Those 8000 homes were one of the headlines of last year’s budget.
But this morning it revealed that the big winners are Northland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North and Whanganui.
Details as to how the 8000 will be split between these regions will be unveiled later date.
Ardern, who is in Nelson for Labour’s annual retreat, said: “Fixing the housing crisis is a key focus of this Government”.
She added that the state housing programme plays a key part in the Government’s plan.
Of the 8000 homes, 6000 are state housing places and 2000 are transitional.
Ardern said the Government remains on track to deliver more than the previously announced 18,000 extra places by 2024.
The unveiling of where these already-announced state houses will be built comes as pressure ramps up on Ardern’s Government around housing.
Greens co-leader and Associate Minister of Housing Marama Davidson said the growing state housing waitlist needs to be “urgently addressed” by the Government.
We should be using more of the tools in the toolbox to fix this runaway housing crisis, and that includes taxing wealth or capital gains.”
Ardern has ruled both these taxes out numerous times.
“We’re frustrated,” Davidson admitted.
“We’ve been quite clear, Government is not doing enough if we are not putting all the tools on the table so that people can afford to rent, buy kai for their households, and even own their own homes.”
National was also critical of the Government’s ever-expanding state housing waitlist.
“This is the sad result of Labour’s continued failure to get on top of our housing shortage,” National’s housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis said.
“Despite promises to fix our shortage, housing has become more unaffordable than ever under Labour with more and more Kiwis struggling to find a home.”
Housing Minister Megan Woods, however, blames the previous National Government for the long waiting list.
“It follows decades of insufficient new housing stock being built and the selling of thousands of state homes by the previous National Government.”