Cunliffe shoots down fast-track plan

By John Cousins

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Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Labour leader David Cunliffe says Housing Accords will not solve the problem of Tauranga being the second most unaffordable place to live in New Zealand.

He took a swipe at the Government's housing affordability solution during his pre-election visit to Tauranga yesterday.

"Clearly it's not sufficient to solve the problem. No houses have been built on Housing Accord land in Auckland," he said.

Mr Cunliffe said Housing Accords only sought to address the supply side whereas Labour's policies addressed supply and demand.

Deregulating the supply of land through Housing Accords was too slow and too passive, he said.

With home ownership the lowest it been in more than 50 years, Mr Cunliffe said part of Labour's solution was KiwiBuild, a programme to build 100,000 starter homes over 10 years that was pitched mainly atfirst-home buyers.

Another policy yet to be announced was to boost emergency and social housing.

Mr Cunliffe promised that the state housing stock would not be reduced any further under Labour, with run-down and empty houses pressed back into service to meet a growing need.

On the demand side, Labour planned to introduce a capital gains tax on housing to slow the growth in the property market.

Mr Cunliffe said landlords were using the tax system to outbid young people wanting to get into their first homes.

Fast-tracked homes

• Housing Minister Nick Smith last week signed a new Housing Accord which would see 1175 sections in Tauranga City and the Western Bay selected to be fast-tracked for new homes in the next two years after.

• Labour says the number of houses to be fast-tracked is not sufficient to make Tauranga more affordable.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
Labour Leader David Cunliffe on tour in Tauranga. PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

- Bay of Plenty Times

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