Labour calls for Muldoon rent freeze in Christchurch

The Press reports:

Dalziel said the housing shortage had hit breaking point and was rapidly snowballing into an “extreme crisis”.

“The Government has to intervene. It has the most extensive powers that any government has had since wartime,” she said.

“Gerry Brownlee is like Pontius Pilate by just washing his hands of all this.”

She said there needed to be a cap on rent increases to stop landlords taking advantage of quake-hit residents. 

Oh yes a . That worked so well last time. Let’s look at the problem:

Recently disclosed Trade Me figures show demand for rental properties in has increased 42 per cent, supply has dived 40 per cent and rent has climbed 15 per cent on last year.

Okay so supply has dived 40%, and Labour’s solution is a rent freeze. Now can anyone who has studied economics beyond primary school tell Lianne what the problem with her proposed rent freeze is?

The Government would not intervene in the issue, he [Brownlee] said.

“A rent freeze doesn’t increase supply and will never encourage new stock to come in. We won’t be moving to regulate but we most certainly are actively providing new housing.”

He “recognised there was a problem a couple of weeks ago”, but criticism that the Government had ignored the city’s housing crisis was “unfair”.

“Political opponents have raised issues, not solutions. The Government is taking action and we have outlined our plan of attack many times.”

Land on the outskirts of the city had been freed for potential subdivisions, more rapid consenting processes were being discussed, temporary accommodation services and assistance packages were available, housing villages were expanding and he had asked Housing New Zealand and the Christchurch City Council to accelerate repairs on quake-damaged homes, he said.

I await Labour also announcing a price freeze as their new inflation policy.

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