Our strong, growing economy puts extra demand on the housing market around the country and especially in our region where our growth is significant. We have a vast number of initiatives to support the need for housing and there have been some meaningful developments in this area  recently.

We have created over 200 Special Housing Areas across the country with 11 in our region to fast track the building of homes. A $1billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will be available to our region and other high growth areas which will accelerate the supply of housing by helping to fund the infrastructure needed for housing developments. We are setting up independent Urban Development Authorities to speed up consenting in areas of high housing need. Policy has been issued that requires councils to ensure that land supply for housing keeps pace with growth.

The potential stock transfer of our social housing in Tauranga to Accessible Properties will benefit our community immensely through their programme of significant redevelopment and reconfiguration. KiwiSaver HomeStart helps first home buyers pull together a deposit with a grant of up to $10,000 for an existing house and $20,000 for a new home. For Tauranga is the house price cap is lifted to $500,000 for an existing home and a cap of $550,000 for new home which is a $50,000 increase for both. We are on track for 85,000 new houses across New Zealand in this term of Parliament. The Reserve Bank has used more tools to manage wider issues associated with the housing market. We have tightened rules to ensure that those buying and selling property for profit pay their fair share of tax. We are reforming the Resource Management Act to make it easier for houses to be consented and built.

I understand the value in home ownership because it helps bring security to individuals and their families.  There are no quick fixes for housing but there are positive signs that we are making progress and we will continue to meet this challenge head on.

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