26 May 2016

Budget's housing solutions a 'band-aid'

8:16 pm on 26 May 2016

Budget announcements aiming to remedy Auckland's housing crisis are just "band-aids", one lobby group says.

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Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

The government has focused its attention on further boosting the supply of residential land, earmarking $100 million to continue freeing up surplus Crown land for housing.

Finance Minister Bill English also said a planned National Policy Statement requiring adequate housing land supply, might also link that to the impact on house prices.

However, youth-oriented group Generation Zero spokesperson Leroy Beckett said the announcements showed very little leadership on housing.

"The housing policies announced in the Budget are band-aids more designed to ease criticism of the government than to solve the housing crisis," he said.

Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett noted the repeated message from Mr English for Auckland Council to do more on land supply.

"I suggest that Auckland Council can't solve these issues on its own, and that's been obvious for some time.

"But neither can government solve Auckland's social issues on its own," said Mr Barnett.

He called for a partnership between the council and government to tackle the city's social issues.

Property sector group Property Institute of New Zealand described the approach to housing as a missed opportunity.

"It's disappointing that there are no positive initiatives to further encourage the private construction of new homes" chief executive Ashley Church said.

"Any government which touted itself as being able to solve the Auckland housing crisis on its own would need to embark upon a massive state-funded home building program - and that simply isn't going to happen while Bill English holds the purse strings."

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