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Government to address home affordability

Monday 29 Oct 2012 5:20 a.m.

Labour says tinkering with the Resource Management Act will not address a housing affordability crisis while the Greens want denser housing in Auckland rather than sprawl on the fringes of the city.

They took up their positions ahead of an announcement on Monday on home affordability after Cabinet considers a paper on the issue.

Finance Minister Bill English told TVNZ's Q+A programme on Sunday that the Government would outline changes to local government legislation and the Resource Management Act.

There "may be some changes in the balance of Government influence with councils to enable better supply", he said.

Auckland needs 10,000 new houses a year to keep up with demand.

Greens housing spokeswoman Holly Walker says the Government should not relax Auckland's development boundaries when existing plans already allow for 280,000 new dwellings over the next 30 years.

"Medium-density, small dwellings centred around existing community amenities with good transport and recreational services is a better model for helping the average first home buyer in Auckland get a foot on the property ladder," she said.

Labour's Annette King says innovative measures and a real partnership with councils are needed.

"Bill English seems to think the housing affordability crisis can be solved by the usual National party hobbyhorses of weakening the Resource Management Act and lowering standards for property developers.

"Such changes will only be tinkering around the edges for thousands of Kiwis. The Government clearly doesn't realise that the main problem is affordable housing for low and moderate income earners, who just can't find houses."

NZN

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