The Labour Party housing policy for first-home buyers has struck a chord despite the Government’s attempts to write it off as expensive and unrealistic.
Just over 70 per cent of the 500 respondents in the Herald-DigiPoll survey approved of Labour’s promise to enter the housing market to build 100,000 low-cost homes over the next 10 years.
Labour leader David Shearer enjoyed a end-of-year boost in the polls, and conventional wisdom attributed this to the tough way he dealt to David Cunliffe, because if you’re a prestigious political commentator the idea that there are hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who have (a) never even heard of David Cunliffe but (b) desperately want to own their own home but can’t afford to enter the current market, is simply inconceivable. Anyway, the result is support for my crazy idea that opposition parties should spend time pointing out chronic problems that the government refuses to solve, and promise to solve them, and that people afflicted by those problems will then be disposed to vote for them.
(The one thing that mystifies me about Labour’s policy is that when I think affordable housing I think town-houses and other medium/high density options, but all the criticism has focused around costs of single homes on single sections, and I haven’t heard Labour rebut this. Maybe whoever developed the policy hasn’t explained it to their MPs properly?)