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This year Housing Minister Phil Twyford is employing a new method in order to try and sell his KiwiBuild homes – prospective first home buyers can begin the process of buying a home on the spot without entering a ballot, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

 “Labour campaigned on KiwiBuild running a ballot system to ‘ensure everyone is treated fairly’ as there would be ‘significant demand for KiwiBuild homes, particularly in the first few years of the programme’.

 “How wrong they were.

 “KiwiBuild is considerably less popular than expected. Instead of the expected excessive demand, the Government is struggling to sell its houses.

 “The policy underwent several changes last year to fix its lack of popularity. Instead of paying back the full profit if a buyer sold their home within five years, it’s now three years and only 30 per cent has to be paid back.

 “The owner can also let out their property and again only pay back 30 per cent of the rental income.

 “And finally, Mr Twyford has just dropped his target of building 1000 homes a year, something the Labour Party campaigned on and in Government has continued claimed they would do.

 “Mr Twyford knows his policy is going under, admitting he’s now just ‘willing the policy to bear fruit and come to life’. But will and hope won’t build or sell houses.

 “The Minister needs to come clean. Have ballots been foregone because people don’t want to enter them? Where are the tens of thousands of prospective buyers who have expressed interest?

 “When people aren’t bothering to enter ballots and the homes are available to ‘first come first serve’ buyers, it’s a slippery slope to a fire sale.

 “Mr Twyford needs to begin 2019 with a clean slate, and that means scrapping the KiwiBuild sham. He’s already confirmed he can’t reach his 1000 homes target, and now he’s at risk of breaking more promises.”

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