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Housing Crisis: The Green Party's action plan

In the lead up to PrefabNZ's Housing Crisis panel on 7th September and the general election, we invited each political party to provide an overview of their housing action plan. Here Metiria Turei, Green Party Co-Leader outlines their proposal.

We asked for submissions to these three questions:

1. What is your party's perceived problem with the housing market in NZ?

2. What is your party's intended response post-election (not what is happening now)

3. How will your party embrace and encourage innovative housing delivery as part of the solution?

The Green party believes that all New Zealanders deserve a warm, healthy, affordable home. Unfortunately the housing market is fundamentally broken for ordinary New Zealanders. Buying a house is out of reach for too many people with New Zealand having one of the least affordable housing in the world. Renting is too fraught with tenancy contracts to insecure, damp rentals making tenants sick and the landlord-tenant relationship too one sided. As a result of the pressures in the housing market - too many people have been left by the wayside with 1 in 40 New Zealanders homeless or in insecure housing.

For families struggling to get onto their property ladder - we have an innovative ‘homes for life’ policy of progressive ownership with the state facilitating below-market interest loans. We will make rentals more secure, safe and healthier through funding Warm Up NZ and improving tenant rights. And we will ensure homeless people have a home through our “Homes not Cars” policy. This would free up millions of dollars for emergency housing by enabling Housing NZ to keep its dividend and directing them to provide emergency housing with that money.

Innovative housing delivery is a key part of providing affordable housing. New Zealand has an opportunity to lead the revolution on providing sustainable, affordable housing that we are missing out on because of the lack of leadership.

Part of our policy is to develop a sustainable building strategy and work with partners across the sector to make housing more energy efficient and sustainable at all levels. Prefabs have been part of the solution overseas for affordable and quick to build housing – and they will be part of the solution here as well. We know that part of the advantage prefabrication is that they save on material waste, tend to have lower emissions related to construction and better moisture control. And the Green Party is committed to working with the sector to ensure that your voice is part of the conversation on a sustainable building revolution in New Zealand.

But it’s important to see housing as part of a wider conversation about what we want our cities and communities to look like in the future. For example - by changing planning regulations to remove minimum parking requirements, we can build housing cheaper and with more relevance to modern transport modes.

The Green Party is committed to thinking smarter about tackling the housing, kick-starting a sustainable building revolution and working with the sector to ensure that all New Zealanders have safe, warm and healthy housing.”

To hear more and compare party action plans, please come to the Housing Crisis Panel, 7 September. More information and register here

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