An Auckland couple who have house-hunted without success for months say the Government's pledge of $1 billion for infrastructure development is a step in the right direction.
"I think it's definitely going to help," said Mike Alsweiler, a West Auckland cabinetmaker. The Herald interviewed him and his partner, Gemma Mann, for our Home Truths series in April.
The couple had considered moving to Tauranga, where Mr Alsweiler has family, because they could not find a two- to three-bedroom house for them and their little son in their price range.
Mr Alsweiler yesterday said he was happy to see the Government focusing on the infrastructure side of the housing crisis, but he didn't know how helpful the plan would be in the short-term.
"I'm still sceptical of whether or not we're going to have enough tradespeople to build these houses as quickly as we need them.
"I think long term it will help but in the short term - not much."
Prime Minister John Key said the new $1 billion fund was to fast-track infrastructure development by councils with high new-housing demands. Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch and Queenstown will be able to use the fund for such things as water and roading development.
Other parties have criticised the move, with Labour's Andrew Little saying the sum "simply doesn't cut it".
There was no quick fix for the housing crisis, Mr Alsweiler said, but "they're on the right track".
His partner agreed. "Anything they do is good, but ... I'm not entirely sure the first-home buyer is going to be able to buy a brand-new house in a subdivision."
Mr Alsweiler said the market was more or less the same at the moment as it was back in April in terms of housing availability, but prices seemed to have stopped rising quite as fast.
"It doesn't seem to be running away in our price bracket, but it's certainly not getting any cheaper."