Labour, Habitat for Humanity back Greens' housing policy

Labour, Habitat for Humanity back Greens' housing policy

Habitat for Humanity is backing the Green Party's new rent-to-own housing policy.

The policy would see 10,000 homes made available over the next decade in exchange for weekly payments of no more than 30 percent of the household's income. Over time, ownership of the home would transfer from the Crown to the occupier.

The Greens say this will save buyers $100 a week, compared to a normal mortgage.

Habitat for Humanity's Claire Szabo expects high demand will be a major challenge.

"There are large numbers of people that are hoping to get into home ownership... who wish to be part of this scheme."

She said the policy is achievable and will directly target those locked out of home ownership.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei launched the policy in Rotorua on Saturday.

"Our progressive ownership model will help to make the home ownership dream a reality for people who are locked out of the housing market right now because they can't afford a deposit or a normal commercial mortgage," she said.

Political allies Labour welcomed the package, calling it a "welcome complement" to Labour's own housing plans.

"The Greens' rent to buy scheme complements Labour's KiwiBuild policy to build 100,000 affordable homes for families to buy," said leader Andrew Little.

"Home ownership is at its lowest level in 65 years. It just makes sense for the Government to step in and make sure people have a fair shot at owning a place of their own."

Ms Szabo said the benefits to families will be far-reaching.

"What they achieve is some security, some ability to plan into the future - not just one or two months or a few years, but inter-generationally. That can change the prospects for a family, for their children, for their education, for their ability to stay and advance in employment."

House prices have skyrocketed in recent years, particularly in Auckland.