Industry praises push for state homes
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.
Real Estate Institute of NZ chief executive Bindi Norwell called for