This article looks at the various policies on housing that different political parties are campaigning on pre-election 2017.
the Labour party wants to end tax breaks for speculators and invest in warm, healthy homes
Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
“Labour will close the speculators’ tax loophole. Losses on rental properties will be ring-fenced meaning they will no longer be able to be used to reduce the tax that speculators owe on other income. This will create a level playing field for home buyers and help families get a fair shot at buying a place of their own.”
“The speculators’ tax loophole will be phased out over five years. This will save taxpayers around $150 million a year once fully implemented, and a total of $1.2 billion over a decade. Labour will invest this money into making homes warm and healthy.
“As well as closing this loophole Labour is going to ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes, and we will make someone who sells a rental property within five years pay income tax on the capital gain.
“Labour will invest the savings from closing the speculators’ loophole into helping both homeowners and landlords make their houses warm and healthy. We will make grants of up to $2,000 per dwelling towards upgrading insulation and heating. The grants will pay for up to half the cost of insulation upgrades and double glazing that meet or exceed the current building code, or of the cost to install a clean, fixed form of heating.
“This investment complements my Healthy Homes Bill, which will soon be back before Parliament. It requires all rentals to be fit for families to live in.
The Opportunities Party
The Opportunities Party is proposing substantive change to a tax system that currently puts wage and salary earners at a permanent and insurmountable disadvantage compared to those who already own one or multiple properties.
TOP will remove the current tax advantages that owning either more and more expensive housing or multiple houses bring. Being a landlord or “speculator” has nothing to do with that problem. People can still own multi-million dollar mansions or multiple bungalows and reap huge tax advantages over those trying to get ahead on salaries and wages.
On 7 August TOP introduced their housing policy. The Opportunities Party wants to dramatically change New Zealand's renting laws to make it impossible to evict tenants except in a few special circumstances.
The party has announced its backing for a German-type model, where tenants have the right to remain in their homes even if they are sold to another owner.
Tenants would only be able to be evicted if they did not pay the rent or they damaged the property.
National Party and current Government
Minister of Social Housing , Amy Adams, says that this year, the Government will spend $2.3 billion supporting 310,000 households with their accommodation. Additionally, those seeking immediate shelter can access a Special Needs Grant for accommodation. We have invested $354 million to help 8600 families every year with a warm, safe place to stay. 3660 of these will be in Auckland. We are also growing the number of social houses available, from 66,000 today to 72,000 by 2020.
The Government has secured 870 transitional places providing housing for 3480 households a year for around 10,000 New Zealanders in need of warm and safe housing, with a further 728 places a year set to be available by winter, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
“By the end of June, we’re on track to have 1598 places available at any one time. Overall, this will help around 6392 families a year with their short-term accommodation needs.
Green Party housing policy
Providing Secure and Affordable Social Housing
- Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.
- Maintain an income related rental policy of 25% of income for Housing New Zealand Corporation tenants.
Expanding the Third Sector
- Provide funding to third sector housing organisations for a minimum of 1000 units a year for the next 3 years, prioritising those with commitment to environmental and social sustainability.
- Remove legal and institutional barriers to the development of co-operative housing, eco-villages, self-built, sweat equity housing, shared ownership, and papakainga housing Supported housing for those in need.
- Ensure appropriate housing and support for those living with, and recovering from, mental illness and addictions.
- Support older people and people with physical or intellectual impairments so that they can remain in their own homes, or move into suitable housing .
Nobody Left Homeless
- Create a legally binding duty on the public sector to ensure housing needs are met.
- Support third sector organisations working for homeless people.
- Reduce speculative investment in the housing market by tightening the rules around loss attributing qualifying companies and introducing a capital gains tax on all but the family home.
- Increase peoples ability to save for a deposit and service a mortgage by increasing the minimum wage to no less than 66% of the average wage.
- Introduce a Universal Child Benefit that can be capitalised towards the child's first home.
- Increase provision of low interest financing for low-income households seeking home ownership
- Shift the standard tenancy conditions towards more secure and predictable tenure arrangements.
- Increase funding and support to repair and renovate rural housing.
- Ensure access to basic water, sanitation and cooking requirements, wherever these are lacking
Recognising Te Tiriti o Waitangi
- Ensure that central government works with iwi, hapu and urban Maori on housing issues.
- Support papakainga and local iwi and hapu third sector housing.
- Develop a sustainable building strategy, which sets standards for use of building materials.
- Require, as part of a National Policy Statement on Sustainable Energy, district plans to facilitate the use of solar and/or wind energy.
- Introduce national technical qualifications for administration of the Building Code at local level and require that NZ building inspectors are trained to this standard.
- Ensure that all new buildings conform to sustainable building principles by 2012.
- Support and expand programmes to make existing homes more energy and water efficient.
Building for Sustainable Transport, Healthier Communities, and Individual Wellbeing
- Develop a National Policy Statement on housing to streamline consent processes and incorporate sustainability standards.
- Ensure housing development and subdivision provisions of district plans minimise car use and increase ability to use public transport.
- Support mixed-use zones where small business and residential living can both be accommodated.
- Provide matched funding for local authorities that take active measures to support social housing or low income retrofitting programmes.
- Revise the building code so that new houses and building premises are required to be accessible by design unless specifically exempted.
- Work with local authorities to develop urban density guidelines to avoid both sprawl and overcrowding.
The Maori Party are still developing their housing policy but you will find it here when it becomes available.
The main points of the Conservative Party Housing Policy are: net zero immigration (excluding student visas) until housing shortfall has eased, implementing a land tax on dormant residential land, and pre-approved / pre-consented housing designs.