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Despite Phil Twyford claiming there is “strong demand” for KiwiBuild houses in Canterbury, there hasn’t been a single sale since the first ones went on the market three months ago, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The Minister of Housing and Urban Development’s deal with Mike Greer Homes to underwrite 65 KiwiBuild houses in Canterbury with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, is shaping up as a serious financial risk to the people of New Zealand.

“The first seven of these houses hit the market on February 20 with prices ranging from $459,000 to $480,000 – and Mike Greer Homes hasn’t had a single nibble from home buyers since then.

“There is little-to-zero demand for houses in this price bracket in Christchurch, despite Mr Twyford’s assertion to the contrary. It shows just how little thought was put into his KiwiBuild policy, which has been a spectacular failure.

“The Canterbury houses have gone unsold for so long now there is a real risk taxpayers will either have to buy them back as surplus to requirements, or Mike Greer Homes will drop their price on the open market and taxpayers will top up the lost profits.

“Taxpayers should be worried. The Minister of Housing and Urban Development has already committed to underwrite $660 million of KiwiBuild homes across the country.

“He should admit defeat and dump this terrible KiwiBuild policy now before he throws any more of New Zealanders’ tax dollars at developers to cover up his failings.

“National would focus our efforts on reforming the Resource Management Act, to bring down the cost of building for all New Zealanders, and support community housing providers who are much more experienced in this field than Mr Twyford.

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