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Greens will allow Kāinga Ora to borrow $5 billion more to build 5000 homes a year and clear the social housing list within five years

Greens will allow Kāinga Ora to borrow $5 billion more to build 5000 homes a year and clear the social housing list within five years

The Green Party has launched a major housing policy, which would see the state housing provider borrowing more, and ramped up house building. 

The party says it would extend Kāinga Ora’s borrowing limit from $7.1 billion to $12 billion over the next five years to allow it to scale up the Crown build programme to 5000 new homes a year.

It says the borrowing would be accounted for on Kāinga Ora’s balance sheet, not as core Crown debt.

See summary of the policy here.

This funding will be available to support Kāinga Ora to build homes directly, and to contract building to community housing providers. See full policy here.

"Together with policies to support affordable rentals and papakāinga, within the next five years everyone who needs a home will be able to get one," the party says.

The National Party slammed the policy as "wishful thinking" and said it would lead to more regulations and red tape.  

Here is the statement from the Green Party:

The Green Party has revealed its Homes for All Plan, which lays the foundation for an Aotearoa where everyone has a warm, dry and affordable home.

The Homes for All Plan will:

  •   Deliver enough affordable rental homes to clear the social housing waiting list within five years.
  •   Stimulate a sustainable non-profit rental sector by offering Crown financial guarantees for community providers to build new rental properties.
  •   Encourage community housing projects, by removing funding and regulatory barriers. 
  •   Expand the current Progressive Home Ownership and Warmer Kiwi Homes programmes.
  •   Make renting fairer by regulating property managers, and introducing a rental Warrant of Fitness.
  •   Overhaul the building code, so new builds are warm, dry, energy efficient, and accessible.

Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today:

“Housing is a human right. We all deserve to live in a warm, dry home where we can put down roots and participate in our communities.

“Our plan announced today is a bold and cohesive blueprint to ensure we’re all in a warm, dry home, no matter where we live or whether we rent or own.  

“Successive Governments have sold off too much social and community housing, while letting the homes we do have fall into disrepair.

“They’ve also allowed speculators to over-invest in property, pushing up house prices and leaving too many families struggling with the high cost of rent.

“The Green Party knows that a home is more than four walls. Having a safe and secure roof over your head is a cornerstone for a good life.

“Our Homes for All Plan will create a sustainable, non-profit rental sector, by offering Crown financial guarantees for Community Housing Providers, including iwi, to build new properties which can be rented out long-term. 

“These homes would be managed as long-term rentals, giving people who rent real security.

“Our Homes for All Plan is a comprehensive proposal which ensures all of us can live in a healthy and secure home. It builds on the programmes we’ve launched this term, including the Progressive Home Ownership scheme.

“Retrofitting more existing homes through the expanded Warmer Kiwi Homes programme will make them healthier for families and reduce these homes’ impact on the planet.

“I’m really proud of the progress we’ve made in government this term to address housing inequality. We’ve improved the lives of people who rent, introduced the Healthy Homes Standards for rentals, and with the Government’s support, delivered more social housing than any government has in decades.

“The Green Party wants to go further and faster to ensure all of us have a safe, healthy home. We’re building on what works, ensuring all of us have the chance to put down roots in our communities.

“Our Homes for All Plan is another example of the Greens thinking ahead, and acting now, to create a fairer Aotearoa.”

Here is the statement from the National Party:

The Green’s latest housing policy is a lot of wishful thinking, National’s Housing spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“Blue-sky thinking has never been the Green’s problem, but delivery has.

“The Government partners talked a big game on housing before the last election and they haven’t delivered. KiwiBuild was a disaster and it took three years just to get started on progressive home ownership.

“The Greens want to bring in more regulation and red tape. All that will do is place more onerous requirements and costs on landlords, scaring them out of the market, reducing the country’s rental stock and putting the price up on those that remain.

“This ends up hurting renters and makes even more New Zealanders dependent on state housing.

“It is policies like the Government’s rental standards that have seen the social housing wait list has skyrocket, tripling in size, all while the Greens have been in Government.

“The Greens can promise 5000 homes in a year, but they’ve been in a Government for three and they’ve only managed to build about 400 KiwiBuild homes.

“Promises mean nothing if you can’t deliver on them, and the Greens have shown their inability to do that.”

The Council of Trade Unions welcomed the Greens' policy, with this release:

The Council of Trade Unions is pleased to see release of the Homes For All policy from the Green Party today.

CTU Policy Director Andrea Black is enthusiastic about this policy. "Everyone should have a warm dry healthy home to live in, its really that simple. We welcome the commitment of the Green Party to increase the supply and quality of rental property and improve the pathways to home ownership."

"Over the last ten years rents have increased by twice the level of the consumer price index (35% v 17%). This has meant that renting households face a far higher cost of living than people who own their own home. Working people who rent can then find some of their hard won wage increases lost to increased rents. Making it much harder for people of all income levels to save for a deposit and escape the soaring rental market."

"The quality of rental property is far lower than owner occupied property with Stats NZ finding that rental property is much more likely to be cold, damp and mouldy. This has significant impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone living in these properties."

"We also welcome the commitment to review the accommodation supplement as recent work from the Child Poverty Action Group shows that the accommodation supplement has played a role in intensifying house prices and rent rises."

"The purpose of policy is to make life better, that’s what good policy has the power to achieve. This policy is good policy for so many New Zealanders who are currently struggling with something which must be an absolute fundamental; a healthy home," Black said.

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62 Comments

Time to grab a section, the Greens will be pay anthing you want for it.
Running before they can walk.

Relax Kezza , this has as much chance of flying as a dead pig or Kiwibuild had of flying in the last election .

Its simply never going to happen neither the Government not Kainga Ora can sustain such an eye - watering level of debt .

Hell, even Helen Clark knew this and thats why she went out of her way to offer incentives to the private sector to provide rental stock to the housing market almost 2 decades ago .

Nothing has changed the State does not have the resources to house everyone who wants a free State house .

End of story

helen clark owned a bunch of rental properties so i think you have to accept she like many MP's that advocated advantages for private rentals were lining their own pockets at the expense of the taxpayer
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10503825

Dick (Nick) Smith couldn't build a Lego house.

Kiwibuild-lite

#JobsforWellington

Wrong.
Jobs - and lots of them - where housing is desperately needed. Which isn't just Auckland, BTW.

Except it will never happen, with all the will in world , the State simply does not have the means , resources , skills or ability to house everyone in a free or near -free Sate house .

I think your boat has capsized. Think again. Isn't this why apprenticeships have been actioned. This could be a game changer outside of Auckland and Tauranga where housing is desperately needed and there will be those who relocate to these build areas from the two cities mentioned.

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Good vision from the Greens as a part of the Kiwi 'New Deal'. Taking a leaf from post-WWII Japan and post-independence Singapore. You can't run an economy on manufactured property bubbles. Has never successfully worked anywhere.

And not unexpected response from Jacqui Dean who'd be better off running the sausage sizzle fundraiser for the Gnats.

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Exactly.
And would generate a lot of jobs.
And housing people is surely better than more pointless roads...

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There's a shortage of skilled labour in the residential construction market now.. so unless the Greens are going to import them ( oh that's right they can't) who's going to build these houses? Or did they just leave the "it's an aspirational target" quote for 2023?

Only a shortage of those skilled in yesterday's cookie-cutter builds.

Why is it that conservatism so often goes hand in hand with lack of thinking?

So you think there's an abundance of skilled labour out there who are capable of doing non-cookie-cutter builds, but incapable of doing cookie-cutter builds for some reason?

Also if they're wanting to build 5,000 extra per year, wouldn't that require cookie-cutter methods so as to churn the volume out?

Who said it would need skilled? Assumption, the mother of

No. Ever built with Lego?

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Great. The task is massive and they are the only party to treat it seriously.
Cue right wing outrage....

Teach a man to fish etc etc.
Why don't they write a policy saying the poor have to be trained to make their own rental houses out of gorse? (I wonder if Janet Fitzgerald has any left on her farm? hmmm)
A scheme is only a scam if you are not a part of it eh Fritz?

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What's your point?
And more importantly, if you don't like this policy approach then what would you advocate for instead, remembering how many people are homeless and on the state housing waiting list.
If you think that's acceptable, fine, you have different values.

Fritz the policy is a redundant dogwhistle given they have had ample time to drive the existing policy regarding Kainga Ora and it's ability to build.
They need to tell people how they are going to drive Kainga Ora to achieve it's existing targets rather than pluck untested and frankly unachievable policy to make themselves appear relevant

Sling your Hook. At least the Greens having something to compliment its minimum wage policy.

Yaaaayyyyyy! Not 'core crown debt' thank God! (it will just be money that the gubbermint borrows from overseas to lend to the Koiwi buld lite project...)

Careful with the use of that word "Koiwi" Wazim. You do realise it's maori for "bones, the dead or human remains" depending on context, although it is a nice slip within the context of KiwiBuild.

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The Greens are doing the right thing here.
Regardless of the efficacy of the programme, the intent is more housing - and that is right. But also, it's sympathetic to the Labour manifesto, and reaffirming being a political friend into the election might just be rewarded with a continuation of the Coalition ( even if it's not needed), and a cabinet seat or two.

Haha, they have to be able to enter Parliament first.. no guarantees there unless Chloe can pull a rabbit out of the hat

The Greens will get over the 5% threshold sure enough. They were able to in 2017 despite a very good attempt at self destruction beforehand, and because there is a dedicated segment of the electorate that will vote for them willy nilly, thus naively associating themselves with the international profile of the green movement. It is unfortunate because the NZ Green Party, with regard to their priorities and agenda is not really sincerely of that ilk.. If they were I would probably vote for them too.

Not so sure about that FG. Marama Davidson is clearly showing the more extreme left tendencies of the party membership which may have some more centrist but environmentally concerned voters questioning their allegiance. If the Greens were more focussed on environmental matters and would cut the apron strings to Labour I'd consider voting them too unfortunately I can't see that happening any time soon.

I do hope you are right, I really do. The extreme left are duplicitous, verging on fanatical, and a threat to anyone here in our country, who dares to be successful. The very concept of the wealth tax and then worse, the implications of having to implement and police it, have quite frankly, shocked me. This nation has no place for punitive thinking and foul ambitions of that type

I personally think, and fervently hope, that the more policies they publish with an obvious "Robin Hood "slant the less and less relevant they become. I agree they are slowly but more emphatically positioning themselves as a fanatical extreme left which has no relevant place in NZ. Fitzsimmons and Norman would be/are no doubt disappointed. I pity James Shaw (who I actually quite like) watching him slowly but surely be sidelined

Ditto that Hook. Maybe all the actual environmentalists should join the Green Party so they can outvote the social justice warriors that have hijacked it.

And regarding their housing scheme, they lost me when they said EVERYONE deserves a warm dry affordable home. But ask anyone that goes into state houses to make repairs and they will tell you there are many tenants that do not deserve the house.

The real problem is house prices outstripping wage growth. High immigration has pushed up the prices while suppressing wages.

I'm afraid there is no real answer to the problem Beanie, not short term anyway. Education is the only way forward in the medium term but a stable and safe homelife is crucial to the success of that. Maybe if the so called "leaders" in the community actually admitted the problem and did something to help instead of bagging the "ills of colonisation" it would help. However agencies like Oranga Tamariki sure don't do much to help either.

Oranga Tamariki have a thankless and nigh-on impossible task, beset by critics who care less for the welfare of children than they do for their left wing political agendas. It is indisputable that Maori are hugely over-represented in child abuse - so of course anyone tasked with addressing child abuse is going to be targeted as racists or via any other avenue of attack that can be found.

Seems the CTU in their haste to back the Greens overlooked the simple fact that Kainga Ora don't supply homes to the general market. They are a social housing provider - big difference.
If the Greens couldn't get 1000 homes built whilst in govt over the last 3 years how the h3ll are they going to get 5000 built per year now, especially when on current numbers they'll be lucky to have much more than 6 MPs ( assuming the unlikely occurrence of CS winning Auck. Cent.)

Kāinga Ora do actually supply homes on the general market now. They are basically the government backing for Kiwi Build and buy up whatever developers can’t sell.
For example they bought 1,300 sections that were intended for Kiwi Build houses in the Lakeside development in Te Kauwhata earlier in the year, and now have house and land packages for sale on Trademe. No doubt some will become state housing but the intention is certainly to sell a lot of the development to private owners.

Sounds like a doomed-to-fail approach. Only a mug buys a house in a suburb with a lot of state housing.

Ambitious goals.. will they pull it off, probably not, they'll dissuade existing landlords as fast as they build new houses, so maybe they'll hold things about steady or make slight gains. Will they reduce the price of houses, nope, not with even higher required minimum standards and extra paperwork and consultants in the mix.
And that of course depends how much rope Labour gives them to play with.

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Point is: this is designed to meet real need, for houses to rent at reasonable rent, for families.
This is what Labour should have done 3 years ago instead of building 400 houses at $650k each
Not affordable and not what was needed.
Stock needs to increase for poor people and is 15 years behind

I'm tempted to vote Green just because they're talking about housing. Housing is a great angle for the Greens ..

.. the Greens housing policies are questionable .. but they DO NOT have the failed track records of Labour and National. Keep talking housing.

The Greens don't really have a history of getting anything done.

I know, but they are passionate .. they have done great work on the cannabis-reform-legislation. But of course you are right.

God save us from zealous incompetents. Great leap forward, Cultural revolution, Soviet collectivisations (and Holodomor). All perpetrated by small groups of zealots who had 'great ideas' to improve the world. Takes a lot more than aspirations and hope to improve an economic system as surpassingly complex as western democratic market economies - and the Greens demonstrate daily that they don't really have a clue about the realities and compounding complexities of the things they naively think they can improve.

Whos going to build these houses ,the building sector is struggling for qualified carpenters ever since some government scraped the apprenticeship scheme. I wonder who that was.

The Greens would be far more relevant if they used the money to subsidise apprenticeships so we actually had the tradespeople available.

This is the angle I wanted to see. NZ is bad at building and upgrading homes to a healthy standard. Some of it is because of red tape, but most of that red tape is designed to save us from a poorly structured industry.

Educate NZ, give us an industry that can provide healthy homes. (Rather than pick targets and sky high dreams and hope kiwis will do their best).

Ah, if the private development sector starts to struggle, as it probably will, then those resources can be redeployed to build social housing.

True, but an easy fix, if they want to.

A number of prefabs. companies have started up with a number of them being suppliers to any builder, so if the builder got twice the work, he can buy prefab walls and roofs from the Prefab manufacturer. This would allow them to double his volume without the need to increase his team.

I also know of one overseas prefab company that has spare capacity to supply 3,000 houses anytime we want, and can deliver better quality for no more than what it would cost locally.

Also significant shortage of bricklayers;concrete workers;roofers - to name a few more

David, will you be doing a piece on the Residential Tenancies Act reforms that were passed recently? Landlords are going to be very selective with tenants from now on - many prospective renters will find it difficult to secure a place. Essentially the end of fixed term tenancy agreements and very difficult for landlords to terminate periodic tenancies.

Before I form a view I would like to see.
1. Numbers showing this is self funding from rents.
2. Price of houses built (various catagories)
3. Rental price (various catagories)
4. Localities envisaged.
I am sure many common taters here would competently tell us if those numbers stack.
Remember Kiwibuild, many of the houses they built remain unsold. Clearly missed the mark of price and suitability.

I want to see sizes of these builds. A two bedroom 70sqm apartment is not a 'family home' but it would be a great starter home. But what are they going to charge for a starter home? Kiwibuild had fantastical, unrealistically low prices ($350K for an Auckland apartment) but in no one in their right mind is going to sign up for $750k for a tiny apartment. Plus, there is an accepted shortfall in state housing stock for larger houses that could be met with five story terraces (think 140sqm+) four bedroom homes that could house up families of five or more. Any discussion of new housing builds has to be at a reasonable size and price, not using student shoeboxes in downtown as a price floor and then scaling up from there.

While I'm not convinced on the greens policy or the ability to implement it the reply from National firmly states their position. That being there is no need for any action, warm dry homes for all or even most is low priority.

Slammed by the National Party - Sounds good to me!

You have to laugh at the utterly stupid thing these people say ............. the creative accounting to avoid the debt being "crown debt " is laughable .

Have they never heard of International Accounting Standards or Generally Accepted Accounting Practice ?

Who on earth do they think is going to be ultimately liable for the debt on the Balance Sheet of Kainga Ora ?

Then you have the elephant in the room .............. how will the multi-billion Dollar debt be serviced when we Know that most welfare cases do not pay rent ?

The Crown , as G'tor of last resort will be required to record the debt as a Contingent Lability in its books , there is no way in hell you can pretend the debt is "somewhere else ".

The real world does not work like this , but hey ,this is the Green Party , and they all reside on some parallel universe where there are little Green people with green tinted sunglasses

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Yeah, I agree that National's policy of loading up NZTA with $10B of debt on their balance sheet to build roads - assets that unlike houses can't be sold to new owners to pay back debt if needed - is ridiculous and laughable.

Seems to me that Collins and Goldsmith don't know about those international accounting standards you mention either.

Well, yea. That's correct too. The idea of keeping debt 'off the books' was a way for governments who wanted chequebook policy to stay under arbitrary debt targets. Now that debt is cheap, it doesn't really matter. Frankly if the government is going to borrow any huge level it should be to add to our housing stocks or make it easier to get our exports to port on roads and rail.

But for god's sake, just own it. Don't keep up the 'off the books!' charade just because it's politically fashionable - it's just not economically relevant anymore. Both sides need to accept that debt to house your people and export your goods is probably debt worth taking on.

I agree.

It's a pity National started us down this path by having Kainga Ora take on debt in this way during their last term in office.

Maybe they aren't the amazing economic managers they always tell us they are.

"Get out of the way private sector, we know what we're doing!" Sound familiar? Kiwibuild anyone?

if this ever happened i can see (another IF) a alarge chink being sold by a future government to pay don the debt

KiwiGreenBuild - Sure to be as successful as KB !

That's a million bucks a house right? Pretty sure that's about the cost in a high end subdivision...

The issue with any party policy is the words they use, like 'affordable', is that they redefine them for their own narrative.

The word 'affordable' means to the Greens smaller and smaller homes, close and closer to the CBD ie density plus, no car parking, co-housing so you can keep sharing things down to the ridiculous (hot -bedding), AND at the end of the day even when you can't even afford that, then the Govt (other ratepayers) will subsidize it for you.

And the reason it will become so, is that they have no understanding how land fits into the cost of what they are proposing, and associated monopoly price increases their type of system allows.

Until we sort out the land restrictions, anything we build on top of that will just give us more of what we have got, namely poor quality expensive housing.

More proof the Greens know nothing about Green

More debt, more houses, more leverage ....

All the opposite of Green

The government spent 10 billion in the first 2 weeks alone of the covid wage subsidy. The net effect was to save the NZ housing market from a total collapse. Thus preserving the wealth of hundreds of thousands of middle-class New Zealanders and property investors. Borrowing another 5 billion to build houses (assets) that would at the very least retain their value over time? $288 per week to cover the interest on each of the 5000 homes at 1.5% long term government borrowing rate. How much have the government spent on motel units for the homeless in the past year alone?

Days to the General Election: 21
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.