Who should I vote for? Affordable housing at a glance

It's no secret the housing market is under pressure, and it's difficult for first time buyers to afford a home, especially in Auckland.

All the parties agree more houses need to be built, but they disagree on the number that should be built for selling at a controlled price to first-home buyers, and the amount of state or social housing the country needs.

With more and more people renting for longer periods of their lives, some parties have policies that aim to make rentals a more secure long-term option.

Both Labour and the Greens would remove letting fees, increase the notice period to 90 days and limit rent increases to once a year, with the formula stipulated in the rental contract. The Greens would also set a default fixed-term tenancy of three years. The Opportunities Party would only make it possible for landlords to kick out tenants for not paying rent or damaging the property. 

More policy at a glance:

Here's what the parties plan to do to help make housing more affordable:

National promises to build 26,000 new homes across Auckland in 10 years. They'll do that by knocking down 8300 old state homes on land they believe could be used more efficiently and building 34,000 new homes. It says 20,600 homes would be sold at 'affordable and market' prices and 13,500 would be designated for social housing providers. They have not specified how many would be 'affordable' specifically.

National would keep transferring state housing to social housing providers, who the party believes do a better job of managing the properties. The housing can be later transferred to other providers, but must continue to be used as social housing.

Read National's policy

KiwiBuild is a flagship policy for Labour. It promises 100,000 affordable homes across the country within 10 years; 50,000 of them in Auckland. Labour would also ban foreign speculators from buying existing homes.

The bright-line test is similar to a capital gains tax (CGT) but doesn't apply to businesses or farmland. Labour would extend National's bright-line test from two years to five but isn't campaigning on introducing a more thorough CGT. That doesn't mean it won't happen - Labour would set up a review of the tax regime once in power, and Jacinda Ardern says she would act on the findings.

Labour would stop the transfer of state housing to social housing and turn Housing New Zealand into public service rather than a state owned enterprise.

Read Labour's policy

How many homes would Labour and National build under housing schemes in Auckland?
How many homes would Labour and National build under housing schemes in Auckland? Photo credit: Newshub.

Green Party policy could work alongside a government plan - such as Labour's Kiwibuild - making 10 percent of homes built under the scheme rent-to-buy for low-income families. 'Rent' would be no more than 30 percent of  the family's weekly income and would rise with inflation.

The Greens would also build 5000 community and social housing units. It would increase the amount of low-interest financing available for low-income families wanting to own a home.

Read Green Party policy

The Opportunities Party's (TOP) wealth tax is arguably its best known and boldest policy. It would tax all wealth, including houses and land, saying the current system "discriminates against wage earners in favour of owners of assets and businesses that declare low or zero taxable income each year." The party say the policy would make housing more affordable by making property a less attractive investment option.

Read TOP's policy

The Māori Party is hot on the heels of Labour, aiming for 90,000 affordable homes by 2022; 60,000 of them in Auckland. The party has a particular focus on Māori and Pacific homelessness - groups who are overrepresented in housing deprivation - and would establish a Minister for Māori and Pacific Housing. The party would require the Government to establish a target to eliminate homelessness by 2020.

Read the Māori Party's policy

UnitedFuture has a rent-to-buy scheme that piggybacks off National's policy - mirroring the Greens. It would help 10,000 Aucklanders afford a home sold under National's scheme by having part of their rent go toward a deposit for the home. Once the deposit is reached, they would then need to find a commercial mortgage provider. The party also supports a rental warrant of fitness, with additional compliance costs picked up by the Government.

Read UnitedFuture's policy

ACT believe getting rid of some housing regulations will free up more land for building and speed up processes. It would remove large cities from the Resource Management Act, open up land for development on the rural outskirts of Auckland and replace council building inspections with private insurance.

Read ACT's policy

NZ First would restrict house sales to New Zealanders only. It would establish a state agency to acquire Special Housing Area designations. Winston Peters has promised not to sell state houses and has committed to giving first home buyers interest rates of 2% per annum for at least five years.

Read NZ First's policy

A popular policy across the parties is a rental warrant of fitness. Details vary across parties but some kind of enforceable regime for improving rental housing standards is supported by the Greens, UnitedFuture, New Zealand First, the Māori Party, TOP and Labour.

Parties that support a rental warrant of fitness.
Parties that support a rental warrant of fitness. Photo credit: Newshub.

Newshub.

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