Housing has been a key issue as the election draws near and the main political parties' policies on development, first-home ownership, tax, foreign buyers and increasing supply in high-demand areas such as Auckland differ widely.

From the Labour Party's 100,000-residence national KiwiBuild scheme to National's plan to build 34,000 new Auckland places, and NZ First's proposed ban on foreign buyers, housing is an area that has galvanised the parties.

Significant differences divide them. Here is a summary of some policy aspects.

National

The National Party plans to boost the HomeStart grant for first-home buyers. Under the changes a couple will be eligible for an extra $10,000 of Government HomeStart Grants, taking the total to $20,000 for an existing home or $30,000 for a new build.

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The party plans to build more than 34,000 new houses in Auckland during a decade, create a $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, Urban Development Authorities and reform the Resource Management Act to make it easier for councils and developers to get houses consented and built.

It wants rules tightened to ensure speculators pay tax, and councils to be required to ensure housing land supply keeps pace with growth.

Council development charges would be restricted to cut building costs. More here

Labour

Labour says it will ban sales of existing houses to non-resident, foreign buyers, immediately stop any sales of any state houses, and pass legislation to introduce standards for heating and ventilation in rental property.

Labour's main platform is KiwiBuild, building 100,000 high-quality affordable residences during a decade, half of them in Auckland, with about 10,000 built annually.

An Affordable Housing Authority would work with the private sector, cutting red tape and getting places built faster. Partnerships with private developers, councils and iwi would result in more houses and Auckland's urban growth boundaries would be removed to free up more land. Labour plans to close the negative gearing tax loophole. More here

ROTORUA DAILY POST
29 Aug, 2017 8:00am
3 minutes to read

New Zealand First

NZ First would ban foreigners, ensuring only Kiwis could buy NZ housing. It would give state assistance to first-home buyers and establish a new state agency to buy land in Special Housing Areas.

The party plans to sell home sections to first-home buyers under long-term agreements of up to 25 years, reducing the overall initial cost of a home by a third. Buyers would get 2 per cent loans for five years.

Smaller, more affordable homes would be encouraged and more prefabrication used.More here

Green Party

The Green Party emphasises public transport in urban design, minimising car use.

It favours sustainable building practices and energy efficiency. The party plans more support for Housing NZ Corp and would cap rents at 25 per cent of income for state and community tenants. Housing should cost no more than 30 per cent of income.

It would introduce a capital gains tax except on family homes, "to restrain prices by limiting speculative investment in property". More here

Maori Party

The Maori Party supports communities co-ordinating and expanding papakainga as urban solutions to land scarcity, ensuring supply keeps pace with demand for home buyers and tenants. It supports cultural practices of extended whanau living arrangements to accommodate housing needs and iwi-based and kaupapa providers. The party plans to create a new position of minister for Maori and Pacific housing and develop a national housing strategy. It wants a new target of eliminating homelessness by 2020.More here

Act

Act plans to share a portion of GST from new-house building with councils to incentivise them and cover the cost of infrastructure such as roads, water and sewerage, which now partly falls on councils.

Act would allow councils to use more flexible funding mechanisms. The party would remove cities from the Resource Management Act and axe zoning restrictions.More here

The Opportunities Party

The party says it can "guarantee housing affordability" by ensuring all assets, minus debt, are liable for as much tax as bank deposits. It would cut income tax, offsetting that by taxing housing, charging an annual levy, "so that house prices were kept stable" to kill housing speculation.More here