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Green Party launches rent-to-buy policy

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/11/2016

Rent-to-buy programmes could help 10,000 mum and dad Kiwi investors enter the housing market in the next decade, the Green Party believes.

Co-leader Metiria Turei says their latest housing policy, launched in Rotorua on Saturday, is about giving New Zealanders a shot when the odds are stacked against them.

"Our progressive ownership model will help to make the home ownership dream a reality for people who are locked out of the housing market right now because they can't afford a deposit or a normal commercial mortgage," she said.

The policy would see 10,000 homes made available over the next 10 years in exchange for weekly payments of no more than 30 per cent of the buyer's income.

Costing documents show the cost could start as low as $391 a week over 29 years, with the weekly payment rising in line with inflation.

The policy also seeks to create 5000 new energy efficient homes available to the community housing sector.

"Community housing providers will provide a deposit or private sector finance to pay for between 30-50 per cent of the initial cost of building new, highly energy efficient homes," the policy says.

It would be up to the government to fund the remaining amount through Housing New Zealand with providers to buy out that stake with regular payments in line with inflation.

"Commuity housing providers, including iwi, have the skills, experience and expertise to help more New Zealanders into homes and we will work with them to develop new models of housing for New Zealand," Ms Turei said.

The party says while progressive ownership would involve more government investment than building programme it would be offset by the creation of a financial asset, and proposes spending $50 million initially to provide 100 homes.

Homebuyers and community housing providers would cover legal and administration fees.

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