New Zealand’s housing crisis is making an already unequal society even more so, and bolder measures are needed to tackle the problem, Peter Malcolm of the income equality project Closing the Gap said today.
Chronic housing unaffordability has spread from Auckland across the country, and with it deepening inequality between those who own a house and everyone else, Mr. Malcolm said.
“The latest data from the International Monetary Fund’s Global Housing Watch shows New Zealand has the world’s fastest growing gap between housing prices and incomes,” he said.
The government’s efforts to fast-track development and provide money via its infrastructure fund are first steps, but don’t reflect the gravity of the crisis.
“Closing the Gap would like to see a much more robust efforts to free up land for building and speed consents, as well as a serious programme of building social housing for rent.”
“Another important step would be committing to a capital gains tax,” Mr. Malcolm said. “Our current tax system is making the housing inequality gap wider, and no amount of fast-tracking can fix this structural problem.”
The national median house price is now stuck at around $500,000, shutting a generation of New Zealanders out of home ownership, and the security that comes with it, he said.
“Housing is a huge part of the wider inequality crisis that has been with us for too long,” Mr. Malcom said.
For further information, contact Peter Malcolm
phone 07 5524809 mobile 022 3086982