New data released this week shows that Labour has presided over the single worst yearly increase in rents since records began, National's Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.
MBIE's Tenancy Services Rental Bond Data release for December 2021 shows median rents nationwide reaching an eye-watering $540 per week, up $50 from last year – the highest yearly increase on record.
"This comes at a time when we have a cost of living crisis, with inflation at a 30-year high and outstripping wage growth by double," Ms Willis says.
"Many Kiwis are struggling to keep up with the increasing costs at the supermarket and the petrol station, let alone the skyrocketing rents. They are paying the price for ill-advised and naive housing policies of the Labour Government.
"Officials warned the Government that removing interest deductibility for landlords and extending the bright-line test would likely put pressure on rental costs, increase churn for renters and add to the number of people in need of state and emergency housing.
"Yet as recently as this afternoon, the Prime Minister was still proudly listing off her Government's changes to the bright-line test and interest deductibility as successes. This, despite the clear evidence those changes have contributed to the record increase in rent.
"It shows this Government isn't listening and doesn't have a plan to get housing costs under control.
"National continues to propose constructive policies, including:
· Reducing the land, building and compliance costs that drive up the cost of new housing
· Increasing long-term rental options with our Build-to-Rent Housing Bill that would unlock investment in purpose-built rental properties
· Boosting social and affordable housing by backing community housing providers
· Ensuring everyday Kiwis can get mortgages, by fixing the Consumer Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act which has cut access to bank lending; and
· Assisting first-home buyers onto the housing ladder with Help-to-Own schemes
"National is determined that New Zealand can once again be a place where hardworking, aspirational, everyday people can see a path to home ownership. Where Labour has failed, National will deliver."
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