What Exactly Is Our Housing Problem?

Does New Zealand have a housing problem that is caused by too many people and not enough houses? Dunedin Methodist Mission CEO Laura Black sees it differently. She sees our problem not as a shortage of houses but as a mismatch between where the affordable houses are and where the people wanting a house live. Continue reading

Everyone is Entitled to a Place to Call ‘Home’

The Alliance believes that to solve the housing crisis we need a radical rethink on the role of housing. It sounds self evident but we need to start from the premise that a house is for people to live in, a home, and everyone is entitled to one.

We need to embrace article 25 of the United Nations Declaration of Universal Rights which lists housing as a basic right. If we do this as a country, making sure everyone has warm dry affordable housing must become one of the main jobs for every government.

This may be painful for some. Houses tend to be seen as a safe investment, a good way to make money, particularly in the deregulated environment of the past 30 odd years. During this time government involvement in housing has been frowned upon. “The market will provide,” we were told. Quite clearly it hasn’t. Time to move on! Continue reading

Welcome Home Loans Abolished

The Alliance believes the new housing policy announced by the National government will effectively abolish the Welcome Home Loan scheme.

Technically the scheme will still exist, but gutted of the key element that made it worthwhile, the minimal deposits. Currently, a couple with two kids, both adults working full time for minimum wage, would be eligible for a Welcome Home loan for a house costing $205,000, with a deposit of $750. From October 1st, the deposit required will go up to $20,500. Continue reading

Affordable Housing is Common Sense

Many people in their twenties and thirties must face the fact that unless there are drastic changes in government policies, they will never be able to afford to buy their own home. Sadly, the chickens have come home to roost, in more ways than one. Continue reading

Alliance mortgage plan turns financial crisis into asset

Alliance Party finance spokesperson Professor Jim Flynn says the government has to think outside the square to prevent ordinary New Zealanders losing their houses during the economic crisis because they can’t afford their mortgage payments.

In the wake of the news that in August this year at least 50 families were forced into mortgagee sales of the family home, Professor Flynn says there is a simple solution.

“Rather than have people face mortgage sales, the government should buy the houses off the banks for their rateable value. The bank would be relieved of a ‘toxic’ asset and the government would get something in return for helping the bank.”

The home could then be rented back to the occupiers at perhaps 20% of their income. This would mean people could afford stay in the family home. They are spared the upheaval of trying to find alternative accommodation, which could mean overcrowding, children having to move schools and a loss of social support systems. Continue reading