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Solid foundations for better housing

The Council of Trade Unions is welcoming today’s announcement from government that will start to address one of the most important issues facing Kiwis; a place to call home.

CTU Economist Craig Renney said, “The changes to the ‘bright-line test’ and the changes to mortgage interest relief payments will counterbalance some of the speculative forces that have been driving the housing market. There is more work to be done – but this is an important first step in achieving more equitable and sustainable housing in New Zealand”.

“The CTU also supports the governments supply-side measures with the announcement of $3.8bn housing acceleration fund. This will mean that development can be brought forward more quickly. We particularly welcome the additional $2bn of additional investment in Kainga Or. But long-term investment in social housing will be needed to reduce the 22,000 people currently waiting for a home. The additional support for apprentices is also welcome, with around 5,000 apprentices expected to benefit”.

“There is still more to do on social housing, on better enforcement of private rental standards, and on making sure that all New Zealanders can have a warm, dry home. It also still means that gains made by property speculators will still be tax free, but income earned by tenants to pay the rent is not. But this is a welcome first step in the helping to address the housing crisis”.

“Progress on delivering an Industry Transformation Plan for the construction sector is needed. Including ensuring that the current funding boost for apprentices and trainees in the construction sector continues long into the future. As the Prime Minister said today, we need to be making sure that we are pulling all the levers available to address the current housing crisis,” Renney said.