Today, housing minister Megan Woods announced major changes to New Zealand’s embattled KiwiBuild initiative.
With lofty targets which initially aimed to build 100,000 new homes in just 10-years, the Government-supported program, which was unveiled in 2018 has come under heavy criticism, leading to today’s revised strategy.
Nine months in the making, the changes announced centre around targets (or lack thereof), deposit requirements and a focused on progressive home ownership.
No more targets
Coming under fire most heavily for its inefficiency, the program has discarded the previously declared target of 10,000 new homes every year for 10 years, noting that it was ‘overly-ambitious’.
This is to be replaced by a more holistic approach to progress that will see the Government ‘build as many homes as they can, in the right places.
While that might appear to lack accountability, Woods has vowed to provide a public dashboard of housing statistics that will enable Kiwi’s to easily track KiwiBuild’s progress.
In order to encourage home ownership across the country, first home buyers are now able to provide just five percent for a deposit on a home.
Under this change, policies previously known as the ‘Welcome Home Loan’ and the ‘HomeStart’ grant have been renamed, and now allow buyers to purchase a property with a deposit of five percent – as opposed to 10 percent.
Progressive home ownership scheme
Targeting low and middle-income families, the new progressive home ownership scheme will see some $400 million put towards offering some buyers a discounted rental rate until they collect enough money for a home deposit.
Other notable changes include:
- Less Government support for developers unable to sell KiwiBuild properties
- Allowances for developers to build larger and more expensive properties should they be four-bedrooms or larger
- Buyers purchasing one-bedroom and studio-style homes are only required to live in the property for one year, as opposed to the previous requirement of three.