The latest international Demgraphia survey (which looks at house prices vs incomes) tells us what we have known for many years now – that housing in our country is severerly unaffordable.
Labour’s Kiwibuild policy is failing and it’s a myopic approach.
There is a nest of issues we have to look at (and quickly)( .
•Better existing land use (urban sprawl just creates other huge problems)
•Long term leasing rather than ownership
•Collective and cooperative mortgages
•Temporarily restricting immigration flow
•A bottom up approach -build more social housing as a priority rather than a top down home ownership approach . This would reduce demand quicker and reduce house prices…. the list goes on.
We are still not collecting good data on who is buying what, where and why ?
And why aren’t we doing that ?
Because, just like the last National government, asking such quesions might deliver politically incovenient answers.
One thing is for sure .. you certainly can’t have an informed housing policy if you are wilfully blind to collecting the facts.
I hear some people saying “Oh give the Labour Coalition a chance – wait for the second term they’ll deliver”
Well here’s the facts on the housing front…
Twyford promised 1000 homes by July 1, 2019
So far they’ve built 33 with 77 under construction with 162 days left to meet their election promise.
Why are they failing?
Answer..Neoliberal solutions- where you rely on the market to fix the housing problem- clearly do not work and this curerent neoliberal government is no different in this respect to the last National one.
I had hoped we would see some Progressive housing solutions in which the government would take control of the housing situation by switching the focus from home ownership to providing the majority of New Zealanders with warm, dry affordable homes with security of tenure ( long term income related rents) – as they have, for example in Germany. But that hope was clearly misplaced.
I covered much of the above in my documentary Who Owns New Zealand Now? which you can find below.
Apart from some ( now much modified ) restrictions on foreign buyers, very little has changed .
Labour can talk about a ” well- being” budget coming up, but spin is cheap. They need to walk the talk and meet the targets they promised if they want to have any credibility at the next election.
They challenged us to “Let’s Do This! ”
So now .. Let’s See it!
Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.