Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Not impressed

KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole thing turned into a steaming PR disaster.

So today they "reset" it. What does that mean? Nothing much. The government will apparently build houses - but won't bother with having targets by which it could be held accountable. They're loosening rules around KiwiBuild purchases, allowing them to effectively become speculative vehicles, while lowering deposit requires for HomeStart assistance (which makes no difference if you can't afford the mortgage payments anyway). Oh, and they're throwing $400 million at a poorly-defined "progressive ownership" scheme to benefit 4,000 families (which is probably nice if you're one of them, but with no detail, who knows?)

And meanwhile, rents are rising and people are living in garages. The above won't do anything to sovle this. In fact, if anything, it will make things worse, by pumping money into the housing market, preventing prices from dropping. But the latter, I suspect, is the point. Because while the obvious policy we need is a mass house-building programme of state and affordable homes, to crash both house prices and rents, the property owning class - which includes almost every MP - don't want that, because it would devalue their assets and their landleach income-streams. So instead we get this sort of bullshit, spending billions on producing the impression of action, while actually doing nothing much, because those selfish fucks want to preserve their and their friends' wealth, even if it means locking an entire generation out of home ownership for good and creating an English-style hereditary class structure.

I expected better from a Labour government. But like climate change, this is just another one of their broken promises.