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KiwiBuild Revisited

18th Sep 19

Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced a reset of the KiwiBuild scheme.

The target to construct 100,000 KiwiBuild homes in 10 years has been dropped.  "We will be dropping the target of 100,000 houses over 10 years. It was overly ambitious and led to contracts being signed in places where there was little first home buyer demand", Woods said.  Instead, the Government plans to build as many homes as it can, as fast as it's able to – Measuring its success on a housing dashboard.

Woods further stated "We are clearing the decks of what hasn't worked."  The KiwiBuild homes that have been built in areas with little first buyer demand (Te Kauwhata, Canterbury and Wanaka) will put back on the open market, allowing the Government to use that money to build houses in places with more demand.  "When policies aren't working, we are honest about that and we fix them" said Woods.

The guidelines and thresholds around accessing KiwiBuild assistance have also been revisited including the required deposit being dropped from 10% to 5% and further changes which allow groups and multigenerational families to access assistance.

There are also plans to bring in a Progressive Ownership scheme. Exact details are vague at this stage, as the scheme is yet to be put before Parliament however it is thought that it will include third parties providing rental homes at lower rents as part of a rent to buy scheme and, a return to the historic role of the Government, by providing Kiwi families opportunities to own their own homes, as the Government did back in the 1980's.

From the KiwiBuild Appropriation Fund, $400 million has been set aside to help with the Progressive Ownership scheme. In the past, low interest rate mortgages through State Advanced loans and capitalisation of the universal family benefit provided a strong pathway to home ownership for many New Zealanders - It's how many Kiwi families got into home ownership. In the 1990's the assistance provided by the state fell away and not surprisingly, New Zealand's rate of home ownership began a long term decline.

The Progressive Homeownership scheme will be before cabinet by the end of this year.

It is estimated that the changes will allow an extra 2,500 - 4,000 people to get into home ownership.


For Minister Megan Woods announcement and more information, please visit the NZ Herald.


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Filed under Hamilton / Waikato \ Real Estate

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