New Report: Labour Government Still Unwilling to Address Housing Crisis – Economic and Social Research Aotearoa

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According to a report released today by Economic and Social Research Aotearoa (ESRA), the reset to the Labour-led government’s flagship Kiwibuild policy may worsen the housing crisis for low and middle income earners.

Vanessa Cole, a housing researcher based at the University of Auckland, states that rather than focusing on home ownership, any policy to address the housing crisis must involve a mass build of public housing, security of tenure for those in public housing, and looser restrictions on who can access this housing.

‘An ambitious policy like this would protect renters from private landlords, make market house prices more affordable, save public land from privatisation and create a continuous funding stream for building additional housing stock,’ Cole said.

‘Kiwibuild as it stands relies on market-based solutions that have been proven not to work,’ Cole continued, ‘and involves the privatisation of public land and the gentrification and pricing out of low-income renters from their communities.’

This ESRA report adds to a growing body of research calling for the government to refocus from private home ownership to the provision of public housing.

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‘Massive increases to public housing stock have been called for by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group, economist Shamubeel Eaqub, and even Treasury. This is a popular policy that, in tandem with Māori-led papakāinga developments, would go a long way towards seriously addressing the housing crisis in New Zealand. All that would be required from Labour is some political will.’

The report is available in full at https://esra.nz/kiwibuild-always-public-housing/