In­dus­try praises push for state homes

The New Zealand Herald - - News -

A plan to build 6400 state houses over the next four years has been lauded by hous­ing and build­ing in­dus­try fig­ures.

But they also urged the Gov­ern­ment to build qual­ity homes as quickly as pos­si­ble.

An­nounced as part of the Bud­get, the project will cost $3.8 bil­lion and de­liver about 1600 new state homes each year. Half of them will be in Auck­land.

Emer­gency hous­ing places will also be lifted by 200, to 2155 places, at a cost of $69m in cap­i­tal fund­ing in the next year and $101m in op­er­at­ing fund­ing over four years.

“The sin­gle most im­por­tant thing the Gov­ern­ment can do to solve the hous­ing cri­sis is to build more af­ford­able homes,” Hous­ing Min­is­ter Phil Twyford said.

The Sal­va­tion Army wel­comed the pledge, but said the num­ber was short of the 2000 new state homes per year Twyford had talked of de­liv­er­ing.

“[The] 2018 Bud­get is an im­por­tant step in the right di­rec­tion but fur­ther in­vest­ment is needed,” it said.

To pay for new state homes, Hous­ing New Zealand will bor­row up to $2.9b from third par­ties and in­vest $900m from its own op­er­a­tions. It would also get an ad­di­tional $234m in op­er­at­ing fund­ing.

The mea­sures aim to boost the state hous­ing stock of 61,338 homes by more than 10 per cent by 2022.

It comes as 7890 peo­ple re­main on the state hous­ing wait­ing list.

The fund­ing also comes on top of $2.1b com­mit­ted in a mini-Bud­get in De­cem­ber to fund the con­struc­tion of 100,000 af­ford­ably priced Ki­wiBuild homes over 10 years.

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