Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s contract to underwrite KiwiBuild houses with developer Mike Greer Homes is looking murkier and murkier, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.
“There were 13 houses already being built by Mike Greer in the Christchurch development before KiwBuild got involved and agreed to underwrite 104 houses across the country. Just yesterday the Minister said ‘it’s not about individual houses’ failing to acknowledge that there were actually 13 of them.
“Mr Twyford claims the Mike Greer homes wouldn’t have been delivered without the help of him and his KiwiBuild programme.
“But by guaranteeing the price for Mike Greer KiwiBuild homes, the developer now no longer needs to worry whether they sell because the taxpayer is picking up the tab.
“Mr Twyford is claiming partnering with Mike Greer gave the developer confidence to deliver more affordable housing, but that excuse doesn’t fly given Mike Greer is also marketing its own non-KiwiBuild homes in the development, some larger with an extra bedroom or bathroom, for $20,000 less.
“Now that the Minister has guaranteed Mike Greer a price for their homes, the developer can focus on selling homes that, for all intents and purposes, are better value for money than their neighbouring KiwiBuild dwellings, in a market that has an oversupply of houses.
“The Minister has more dollars than sense. Not only is his pet project failing, but it’s now risking thousands of taxpayer dollars if the KiwiBuild homes don’t sell for the price he has guaranteed them at.
“KiwiBuild isn’t adding any houses that wouldn’t already have been built, and in some places they’re more expensive than houses without the KiwiBuild sticker. The taxpayer is paying for Mr Twyford’s mistakes.”