Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s pet KiwiBuild scheme is a broken project with banks not lending to prospective KiwiBuild home buyers due to their shoebox sizes, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Last week Mr Twyford announced the Onehunga project to great fanfare, but now the developer has realised Mr Twyford’s proposals don’t add up and is trying to increase the size of their studio apartments.

“Stairwells and hallways will have to be extended to try and push the studio apartments to 40 square metres, from 38 square metres which is slightly bigger than the average New Zealand garage.

“I warned Mr Twyford in April that banks would be unlikely to lend more than 50 per cent of the value of the property for studio dwellings.

“When I raised this issue the Minister said ‘he was hammering out details’ with banks and would have a solution ‘within a few months’ to change their lending criteria. That was in April. It seems like those talks haven’t gone well.

“Prospective KiwiBuild buyers who have put their name down for a home have confirmed to me that the banks will just not lend any money to them on studio apartments or houses of this size.

“The six KiwiBuild studio apartments priced from $380,000 at Onehunga is probably not what Kiwi families aspired to when buying their first home. And that’s not even including the extra $45,000 for a carpark.

“Furthermore, the Minister confirmed three-quarters of prospective KiwiBuild home buyers in Auckland want homes with 3-4 bedrooms. 

“The hapless Mr Twyford has really missed the mark on this one with these tiny houses. Kiwi families deserve a home, not a measly studio apartment only big enough for a single person and their cat.”

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