Labour’s housing plan is to stop and do nothing but reorganise

via ZDNet

via ZDNet

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says Labour’s plans to turn Housing New Zealand from a corporation into a ministry would achieve nothing beyond slowing down the house building programme while the changes were made.

Labour leader Andrew Little announced on Sunday Labour would turn Housing NZ into a public service department and let it keep the dividend it paid to the Government to pay for at least 1000 new state houses a year until the need for them was met.

Mr Joyce said the effort of turning Housing NZ back into a ministry was better spent on building up social housing. He said HNZC was now spending $500 million a year on building and buying new houses, heading up to $1 billion.

“Basically they’re saying let’s stop and rearrange all the deck chairs and do something different with very little benefit.”

He said HNZC had already said it would not be paying a dividend for the next few years anyway because it was building more houses. “So he’s not proposing any significant change.”

HNZ had paid a $118 million dividend to the Government last year but Mr Joyce said that was a pittance compared to the amount the Government put into HNZ in accommodation subsidies. HNZC was worth $19 billion.

That $118m in dividends has been allocated in the budget for other things, so if that is going to be allocated to social housing, the budget now has a $118m hole.  How is that going to be fixed?  Will Annette King take it out of health?  Will Hipkins take it out of education?

Labour’s ‘comprehensive’ housing plan is a joke.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald

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