Willie Jackson has lost the plot on housing

Associate Housing Minister Willie Jackson’s comment that “things could never be better” under the Labour Government when it comes to housing, beggars belief, National’s Housing spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Labour has overseen a total housing catastrophe in the last six years and for the Minister to claim that things could never be better is insulting to every New Zealander in inadequate housing, or struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.


“Mr Jackson is clearly embarrassed by Labour’s housing record and rightly so. Under Labour, rents are up $170 per week on average around the country and families are now facing mortgage repayments of hundreds of dollars more per week thanks to Labour’s economic mismanagement.


“Labour was warned that removing interest deductibility as a legitimate expense for landlords would put push up rents and add pressure to the social housing waitlist, and that is precisely what has happened.


“Under Labour, the social housing waitlist has increased by more than 20,000 families and the people in the most severe and urgent need now wait far longer for a house.


“Under Labour, the Government has spent $1.4 billion housing families in motels, which has been a social and economic disaster. More than 6000 families are currently living in motels, with Rotorua the ground zero. Former Housing Minister Phil Twyford used to say $90,000 per day on motels was a failure. Labour is currently spending $1 million per day.


“Under Labour, 480 families are living in cars, despite Housing Minister Megan Woods claiming last year that: ‘what we don’t have is people living in cars and on the streets’.


“Labour’s grand housing solution, KiwiBuild, has been an abject failure. While 100,000 homes were promised, fewer than 2000 have been built.


“On every measure, Labour has failed on housing.


“Only National has a plan to fix New Zealand’s housing crisis. We will build more houses by requiring councils to zone for growth, give councils new tools to build infrastructure, and reward communities that go for growth.


“We will rebalance the private rental market and end Labour’s war on landlords. We will reform the Resource Management Act and supercharge social housing by backing community housing providers and we will manage the economy well so interest rates come down.


“National will get housing in New Zealand back on track.”