Hello. A lot’s been said about housing affordability, and now it’s time for action. The Housing Minister, Nick Smith, and Auckland’s Mayor Len Brown recently announced the first batch of 11 Special Housing Areas that will see 6000 new homes being built in Auckland. This is a significant step towards our target of consenting ‘,000 new homes in Auckland over three years which is far more than the current average of fewer than 4000 a year. And that’s just the beginning. We all know that our housing market is not working as well as it could be. Too many families.
Are having to spend too much of their income on housing. House prices doubled in six years under the last Labour government, while floating interest rates increased to nearly 11 per cent. What did Labour do about that Nothing. I am proud that under this National Government mortgage interest rates have been at 50year lows. National values home ownership and we want to help more Kiwis into their own home. One of the biggest contributors to the housing affordability problem is actually very basic. There isn’t enough land being supplied for housing.
That’s why we’re working with local councils to free up land. We passed a new law which will see councils enter into Housing Accords with the Government. They’ll be able to create Special Housing Areas, like the ones just agreed in Auckland. Developments in these areas will be fasttracked, so new homes can be consented and built faster. It’s one part of our wideranging package of measures to improve affordability. We’re seeing the start of some real momentum. I feel encouraged that National is helping more people to achieve the Kiwi dream of owning their own home.