Govt considers big housing projects as industry cools 9 July 2008 by Claire Trevett from NZ Herald The Government has hinted it is considering starting large-scale housing developments to help boost the number of affordable homes. Yesterday the Prime Minister said caucus had considered the issue because, while the housing sector has cooled,"there are a lot of people looking for an affordable home ... but there is still the issue of land." Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the economic slowdown meant there was less demand on the construction industry which the Government could take advantage of over the next two or three years. Neither would reveal further details of what was proposed, but it could indicate the Government is looking at further developments similar to those under way in Whenuapai and Tamaki, which will provide a mix of cheap and mid-priced homes with state houses. The Government is already working on a stocktake of spare Crown-owned land which could be freed up for housing developments. Housing minister Maryan Street has also been considering establishing Urban Housing Authorities to undertake large-scale new housing developments. Ms Street has previously said large-scale urban housing projects, such as those established in Australia, are needed to ensure substantial growth in supply of affordable housing.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Scratch the surface of Labour's much trumpeted "social policies" and you're likely to find another motive, which is to grease the slippery wheels of capitalist profit making. Thus Working For Families is effectively a wage subsidy to employers paying poverty wages. KiwiSaver transfers the earnings of workers worried about their retirement into a billion dollar investment fund to boost business growth. So after doing nothing for grassroots people in the face of a skyrocketing housing costs, now that the boom has gone bust Labour's "market liberals" decide it's a time to look at building more houses (in partnership with the private sector of course). Which is more important for Labour's leaders: to make housing cheaper or to prop up the housing industry during the economic bad times?