A decent home is a necessary foundation for families to flourish. MANA believes that everyone has a right to secure, healthy housing, whether they live in cities, towns, or rural districts. Too many individuals and whānau live in inadequate, substandard, overcrowded, or unsafe accommodation.
Māori are much more likely to experience housing need and continue to experience discrimination both in accessing decent accommodation and in the ability to borrow to build on Māori land. It is time that Aotearoa abided by treaties like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which guarantee state provision of adequate shelter for all.
Homelessness is a much bigger issue than many people realise. Much more needs to be done to ensure that housing is available where and when people need it, through secure, affordable rentals and through improved access to loans for those who aspire to home ownership.
All new housing should conform to high standards of energy efficiency and sustainable construction and design standards.
MANA policy priorities are to:
- Make it a duty of government to ensure every individual and family is housed in secure, safe, and affordable accommodation.
- Develop a national housing strategy based on quality research which identifies true levels of homelessness and substandard living arrangements.
Ensure there is enough rental housing that is safe and affordable
- Stop the sale of state houses and eviction of tenants and instead build 10,000 new state homes per year for rent (or rent-to-own) until the current crisis in rental availability for people and families on low incomes is addressed. This will also create jobs and training opportunities.
- Maintain income related rents at no more than 25% of income for state, local government, and community and iwi social housing, and develop an income rent control system for use in the private sector.
- Put state housing back under the management of HNZ rather than MSD.
- Introduce a ‘warrant of fitness’ for all rental housing, to ensure no accommodation is let without basic standards being met, including sanitation, insulation, warmth, fire safety, and the removal of any toxic materials.
- Reinstate tenure for families in state homes so they can’t simply be reviewed out of their homes by governments wanting to reduce state house numbers.
Assist low and middle income earners into home ownership
- Develop a new low-interest, no deposit Māori Home Ownership Scheme (with low-cost mortgage insurance) for Māori first home buyers to increase the number of Māori owning their own homes.
- Develop a new Kiwibank Home Ownership Scheme that would provide low-interest loans (with low-cost mortgage insurance) to low and middle income individuals and families with a demonstrated savings record.
- Ensure low income families are better able to save for a home and service a mortgage by raising the minimum wage to a living level (set at 66% of the average wage).
- Support the development of Indigenous housing models, as well as sweat equity, shared equity, eco housing, cooperative housing, and other innovative forms of home ownership.
- Require all new housing developments of 10 homes or more to include a minimum of 50% of affordable homes.
- Better regulate house prices by imposing a tough capital gains tax on property investors whose buying and selling activity helps push prices up.
- Restrict foreign ownership of housing to ensure better availability and greater affordability for New Zealanders.
Increase government support for third sector housing providers
- Increase government support for third sector housing providers – whānau, hapū and iwi, community, and church based organisations who work to provide quality social housing for rent (or rent-to-own) in local areas.
Properly fund supported accommodation
- Provide adequate ongoing funding for emergency housing, women’s refuges and supported housing for those with particular health and social needs – in every district. Increase funding and other support for tenants’ protection groups.
Support housing development on Māori land
- Introduce a major papakainga housing programme, which works to overcome in sensitive, practical ways the many current barriers to building housing on Māori communally owned land.
- Establish the right of Māori to remain in or return to their home rohe without penalty from the state.
Improve rural housing
- Maintain and increase rural housing improvement programmes which enable whānau to bring their homes up to decent health and safety standards.
- Increase government support for rural districts, including through greater assistance with public transport, sewerage, water, wastewater, waste, roading, and other infrastructure.
Support sustainable housing
- Increase funding and support for environmentally sustainable and low cost, low tech building trades training programmes.