Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry and safe place to call home. In March we set out the next steps in our plan to tackle the housing crisis and help more Kiwis into homes.
New Zealand's housing crisis has been decades in the making, and there are no quick fixes. It's an issue that will take time to turn around, but the Government is taking a comprehensive approach to making housing more affordable.
We recently announced a suite of changes to increase housing supply and tilt the market in favour of first-home buyers.
We're investing $3.8 billion in supporting infrastructure like the roads and pipes to new homes. We're also adjusting income and house price caps so more first-home buyers can access financial assistance.
Together, these changes will make a real difference for Kiwis looking to buy their first home, and they'll build on the foundations we laid last term.
For example, we stopped National's state house sell-off and banned foreign speculators. We're also building more public houses than any other Government in the past two decades.
Our public housing plan is focused on building more homes in the communities that need them most, and we're committed to delivering an extra 18,000 public and transitional housing places across the country by 2024.
We're making life easier for the one in three Kiwi households that now rent. Last term we banned unfair letting fees, "no cause" terminations and rental bidding, introduced healthy homes standards to ensure all homes are warm and dry, limited rent increases to once a year, and enabled tenants to make minor changes to their homes, like when quake-proofing.
Another area we've focussed on is reducing homelessness in New Zealand. We're making sure more people have a place to call home through our Homelessness Action Plan, which will guide us to deliver new transitional housing places and invest in programmes proven to help vulnerable people stay in their homes.
We're also helping more people into homes through our progressive home ownership scheme. This helps families who are struggling to pull together a deposit or pay a mortgage into their first home, and is focused on areas where housing is least affordable, with a strong preference for supporting families into new builds.
All of this is on top of the work we've already done to streamline urban planning, remove barriers to the construction of affordable homes, and support the residential construction sector through Covid. Plus our resource management reform programme is on track to further address development constraints.
There is no silver bullet to fixing the housing crisis. That's why we're tackling it on multiple fronts, and we're inviting everyone to be part of the solution.
Of course, there's more to do to turn around New Zealand's housing problem, but I'm confident we're on the right track. With the necessary funding, a clear set of plans, and a dedicated and highly skilled workforce, I know we can make housing more affordable and accessible.
Stuart Nash is Napier MP.