Monday, August 01, 2016

National fails on housing

One of the drivers of Auckland's housing crisis is market failure. Property developers and builders are not interested in building houses that people can actually afford, preferring to build huge expensive palazzos for the rich because that's where the money is. Unfortunately, National's "solution" to this problem - the unitary plan - does absolutely nothing to fix it:

Most homes built under Auckland's new Unitary Plan would be out of reach of many buyers, Auckland Council research suggests.

Only 15 per cent of new homes would be priced under $800,000, and fewer than 2 per cent would be under $600,000.

That meant a chance for creating affordable housing for families had been lost, Labour said.

However, Housing Minister Nick Smith said few first home buyers would be purchasing the 247,000 homes the modelling showed would be needed over the next 24 years.

So what are they supposed to be purchasing then? Used cars? Or maybe cardboard boxes?

Solving this problem isn't just about building houses, but building houses people can actually afford. RMA planning is one way of ensuring this. Government involvement, by building the houses the private sector refuses to, is another. But National doesn't really seem interested in either. Instead, they seem quite happy to let this fundamental market failure roll on, while a generation of kiwis are turned into peons.