'I want them to have a future' - Concerns renters have been overlooked in housing package

Source: 1News

There are concerns renters have been completely overlooked in the Government's housing package announced this week.

Thirty-three per cent of New Zealanders live in rental accommodation, which equates to roughly 600,000 homes.

On Tuesday the Government announced it will pump almost $4 billion into an effort to boost housing supply.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as "a package of both urgent and long-term measures that will increase housing supply, relieve pressure on the market and make it easier for first-home buyers".

On the Kapiti Coast, Urutakai Cooper's daughter and son-in-law had to move in with her two years ago to save but rental prices are still too high.

“It’s heart-breaking cause like I said they're wonderful parents, I mean I’ve got 5 children, and they're all wonderful parents, they do really well for their own children, and I just want them to have a future,” Cooper told Breakfast.

Geordie Rogers from Renters United says he hears stories like this often as he called for more controls around rents.

“They are really struggling to make ends meet, let alone save for a house, so these are stories that we really hear and our concern is the Government is not listening to them,” he told Breakfast.

“Why did they not bring in any policy to help that one third of New Zealanders that are currently renting who are looking to buy a home?

“Rents are so high, we need to cap them and we need to limit the excessive increases that landlords allow, it’s just not feasible for anyone in this country and we’re seeing everything get worse.”

Economist Brad Olsen told Breakfast as long as there wasn’t enough supply of rental properties, landlords can continue to largely dictate prices.

“Rents will go up," he said, continuing that in the short-term, there was little in the Government's package for renters, he said.

But, he said, it was good to see there was some long-term proposals in place to try and fix supply, like the $3.8 billion fund for councils to develop infrastructure.