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Questions remain around eligibility for KiwiBuild

Judith Collins - Housing and Urban Development

30 October 2018


Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s admission KiwiBuild isn’t for low income families is further evidence of an ill thought out, untargeted lottery costing billions but not making a difference to the lives of those who need it most, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“While National is committed to helping more New Zealanders into houses, government support should be targeted at those who need it most and it should come with an obligation on people to help themselves.

“KiwiBuild does neither.

“With billions of taxpayer dollars involved and significant personal benefit to lottery winners at the expense of taxpayers there should be stringent eligibility criteria. Applicants should at least have to show they have done what generations before them have done and made a demonstrable effort to buy a home, and people should be prioritised based on need.

“The Government now has real questions to answer about who wins here.

“It has created an expectation that hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders are going to get access to a Government provided home but that’s simply not going to happen.

“A year after it started there are only 70 houses under construction, most one or two-bedrooms, and their cost continues to climb beyond the reach of many.

“The Government’s own officials have estimated that a first home buyer household would need to be earning $114,000 a year to purchase a $500,000 KiwiBuild house, but the median household income is $25,000 less than this.

“Labour likes to argue they are offering housing support to Kiwis on a range of incomes, but in reality the only people who can actually access that support are those on a middle to high income.

“That’s why National’s plan was better. By increasing the overall supply of housing in general, first-home buyers on a low income could use the KiwiSaver HomeStart and Welcome Home Loan schemes to get a deposit together and more New Zealanders were getting ahead on their own steam with support from the Government.”

ends

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