• Napier’s housing progress will collapse under National, says Mark Hutchinson

Napier’s housing progress will collapse under National, says Mark Hutchinson

National will wind Napier’s housing progress backwards and lock out first-home buyers, says Labour’s Napier candidate Mark Hutchinson says.

He also says National will also stop the successful public housing programme and axe the $235 million Affordable Housing Fund.

However, his main opponent, National’s Katie Nimon says the key is more housing, not necessarily public housing.

Hutchinson is clear that only Labour “has a deliverable plan that will help ensure Napier families have access to healthy and affordable homes”.

“We’ve made significant gains here in the last six years and all that progress will be wound backwards with National’s tried and failed housing settings which only made the housing crisis worse.”

”National wants to turn off the public housing tap in Napier yet again, with no further commitment for public housing beyond 2025.”

“During a debate last week, Katie Nimon told me, ‘We don’t need public housing to the scale that you are saying’.”

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from someone who wants to represent Napier and see its communities thrive. Katie Nimon is completely out of touch.”

“So far, the Labour government has delivered over 150 new homes in Napier including 25 transitional homes across three locations, with almost 400 in the pipeline.”

“The last National government left Napier with 33 fewer public homes than it started with, and it beggars belief that Katie Nimon is advocating for a return to those days,” Hutchinson said.

He says progress will also be hampered by the National Party’s promise to get rid of the $235 million Affordable Housing Fund.

“The Affordable Housing Fund was set up to increase the supply of affordable housing with a priority on rentals, in areas with the greatest housing need.”

“The new affordable rental homes are for low-to-moderate income families, and the second round of funding will support the building of 65 homes in Hawke’s Bay.”

Hutchinson says the fund is making a real difference in bringing on more affordable homes for families here, and the National Party says it will axe the fund, if it gets into government.

He says National’s widely discredited tax plan will also see homeowners’ mortgage rates increase while young first home buyers will be locked out of the market.

“Everyone already knows National’s tax plan doesn’t add up and will only deliver deep cuts to the vital services Napier families rely on,” Hutchinson said.

“Their dodgy tax plan will also see National pouring petrol on the housing market and locking first home buyers out.”

“Analysis from Goldman Sachs warns many households with mortgages risk being worse off as a result of National’s tax plans if they drive inflation and interest rates even higher.”

“Economists have also said the policy to lift the foreign buyer ban for houses over $2m will cause greater house price inflation in New Zealand below the $2m mark as well.”

“Allowing foreigners to buy up our homes again means selling out young Napier families who are finally getting a foot on the property ladder and who will be straight to the back of the queue if National get elected.”

He says that National has also admitted that “they have no idea what reversing interest deductibility rules and reducing the brightline test to two years would do to house prices. They simply have not done the homework on their policies”.

“It would be a disaster for Napier’s housing progress to vote National. Their plans mean higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher house prices and more foreign buyers pushing Napier families out of the market. That’s a recipe for another housing crisis which will be felt acutely here in Napier.”

“One of my six key pledges to Napier, if I’m elected as MP, is to fight to keep making progress on housing in Napier. We can’t go backwards again.”

“Under Labour, Napier is seeing genuine progress in housing and the economy is turning a corner. Inflation is coming down; unemployment is low and we have a steady plan for the economy. National’s reckless and dodgy plan puts our recovery at risk, will mean deep cuts to essential public services, and will heap on extra costs for Napier households.”

“If National wins, Napier loses,” Hutchinson said.

However, Nimon says the country does not need the scale of "public housing" that Labour “has failed to achieve with Kiwi Build”.

“We just need more housing. It doesn't matter who builds it, as long as it's affordable. In fact, Labour's Napier candidate himself said in a debate that Kiwi Build's 100,000 houses programme was ‘an unachievable target’.

“National is going to power up community housing providers, who are currently being priced out of the market by Kianga Ora, yet are far better placed to provide the support needed by so many who are in emergency housing and on the housing waiting list. National is going to unleash housing growth by having Councils re-zone 30 years' worth of land for housing - and support more build to rent and rent to buy programmes.”

“We'll always need public housing, but we need more affordable rentals, so our community aren't left with no options. The changes that Labour have made over their term in government (which they were advised not to make) have driven rents up by $180 on average and forced landlords out of the market.”

Nimon also said that Hutchinson hasn't had any public scrutiny for his repeated remarks in support of a capital gains tax, which she says in contradiction to his party's position.