Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s gloating over the fact his KiwiBuild dream has now delivered frames on 18 houses reinforces how futile his efforts have been and how many questions remain, National’s Housing and Urban Development spokesperson Judith Collins says.
“New Zealand is in the middle of one of the largest residential building booms in our history - 31,245 houses were consented last year alone. National left office with MBIE forecasting 200,000 new homes over the next six years, without having to be subsidised by the taxpayer.
“On top of that, National was targeting support at first home buyers who needed it. Our support for first homebuyers helped 31,000 people into homes and during the election we pledged additional support to a further 80,000 people over the next four years.
“Our plans to build more houses and our support for first home buyers were targeted, transparent and making real inroads.
“Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild story has changed so many times it’s become hard to understand what the Government plans to do but we know they think they’ll build and buy 100,000 homes over 10 years.
“We welcome any new houses but for the Government to claim the credit those 100,000 need to be over and above what was happening already and so far they’re not.
“The McLennan Development is underway already, with hundreds of houses built and being lived in or under construction. Now the Government is picking up the tab and who would be surprised to hear the developer is taking the Government up on its offer of a subsidy?
“We know Mr Twyford is going round Auckland asking developers how many of their houses he can buy to meet his targets when all the official advice is he will simply divert builders from private developments to government subsidised ones, and add nothing to overall supply.
“Those houses are then being subsidised again when the Government sells them to ballot winners for less than the taxpayer paid in the first place. That’s a very quick way to burn taxpayer’s hard earned money.
“To make matters worse, while National was targeting support for first home buyers who met strict criteria, including income thresholds this government has said its subsidised houses will be sold to whoever wins their ballot. So someone could be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars and get a twice-subsidised house from the Government while a family struggling to get a deposit together will get nothing.
“That’s a poor use of taxpayer cash and shows how desperate Mr Twyford is getting, how little thought has really gone into the policy and how hard he is finding it to make his pie in the sky plan work.”