The Green Party has released its housing policy on Sunday, calling a home a "fundamental human right".
At its conference in Dunedin, co-leader Marama Davidson announced the party wants to negotiate parts of the Government's KiwiBuild reset to prioritise Kiwis who rent.
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"New Zealand has been relying on a market approach to provide things a market cannot and never will provide. We care about social and environmental needs, and the market approach has totally failed to protect these values," she said.
"The KiwiBuild reset is an opportunity to make changes that tackle the causes of the housing crisis, and not just manage the problems."
These negotiations will focus on rent-to-own policy to get more people into their own homes.
"Our rent-to-own policy will offer a pathway to people locked out of home ownership by student debt, high rents, low wages, high housing costs, and high costs of raising a family," Davidson said.
"We'll be offering a pathway to home ownership for people who rent and cannot afford to save for a deposit."
How rent-to-own works:
- The government builds a home, or works in partnership with a community housing provider or iwi to build a home. Once built, a household moves in, knowing that one day the home will be theirs.
- For the first few years, the household pays rent - but unlike a private rental or state house tenancy, part of their payment will go towards building equity in the home.
- After a few years, combining this rental equity with their KiwiSaver, they will have built-up sufficient deposit to buy the home for themselves, and can continue paying off a mortgage rather than paying rent.
A 'long term transformation'
The Green Party is also fighting for reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act, and a mandatory Warrant of Fitness to enforce proper standards for rental homes.
"We have a plan to shift New Zealand's approach to private rentals as well. We'll be reforming the Residential Tenancies Act this term, and we believe that no-cause terminations must end," Davidson said.
"It's also vital that we introduce a Warrant of Fitness scheme for all rental properties as an enforcement mechanism for the Healthy Homes Standards.
"We wouldn't allow people to lease a dodgy rental car, why do we allow dodgy rental homes? Poor quality, damp housing causes sickness. It needs to stop."