Housing Policy Should Target Families, not just graduates Need  – Dunne

Policies that make it easier to secure home ownership need to cater for families looking to guarantee home security, UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne says. 

“Home ownership is a concern for many people as they struggle to save for a home deposit, but we need to be focusing on young families and giving them a helping hand into the housing market, rather than targeting new graduates,” said Mr Dunne. 

UnitedFuture says recipients of the Working for Families scheme should be able withdraw their annual entitlement in one lump sum, rather than rely on pay check to pay check instalments, towards the cost of a first home deposit. 

The policy is targeted at re-calibrating the Working For Families Scheme to ensure that it reflects the current pressures facing New Zealand families. 

“The basic principle behind Working for Families is to alleviate the pressures of raising a child in a modern economy, it serves the purpose of facilitating parent’s balancing their work with their family.

“In New Zealand today the costs of a home deposit are putting more pressures on that balance and we want Working for Families to adjust to this reality. 

“I would be being remiss if I didn’t point out the advantages this has to the recently announced Green Party policy on home deposits,” said Mr Dunne.

“A critical advantage of our policy is that it is means tested, the people who need the most support will receive the greatest benefit, with respect, the Green Party policy would allow any graduate access to an advantageous scheme simply because of the fact of having graduated with an interest free loan.

“When we compare that to our policy that kicks in at the point that a family is looking for a place to settle down and raise their children, where the people who feel the most pressure receive the greatest benefit from the policy and where the fundamental point is providing a fair system, I think it is a no brainer over what policy provides more fairness. 

“Further, our policy is essentially fiscally neutral, we allow people to advance the money they are already entitled to under the scheme, and we do not ask them to pile on more debt or to run away from their obligations, we simply provide an additional choice to young families searching for home security. 

“A family should be safe in the knowledge that if they work hard and save for a while that they should be able to secure a home that will allow their families to flourish.

“This is a policy that makes a small change to our Working For Families scheme but will deliver a big benefit to the families that need it,” Mr Dunne concluded.