Funds for 6400 homes
The Government is committing to building at least 6400 new state and social homes over the next four years, in Budget 2018.
That is 600 more homes each year than the 1000 promised during the election – but below the
2000-a-year Housing Minister Phil Twyford told media he was fighting for. It will bring the total number of homes to just under
73,000 by 2022.
Along with $234 million of new funding, Housing NZ will borrow
$2.9 billion to meet this pledge, and invest $900m from its own operations.
As of late March, 7890 eligible households were waiting an average of 64 days for a public house. Most tenants in public housing pay an income-related rent, which limits the total rent to a quarter of their income.
Twyford’s centrepiece housing policy is KiwiBuild, which was funded $2.1b in the Government’s mini-Budget in December.
Budget 2018 also includes an extra $33.6m over four years for Tenancy Services to keep its current operations running smoothly.
Another $170m will be spent over four years increasing ‘‘transitional housing’’, which provides short-term housing for people with immediate need.
This is expected to add a further 200 places.
The Energy and Efficiency and Conservation Authority will receive $142.5m for a new scheme to help lower-income owneroccupied households insulate and warm their homes.
Just over $15m will be spent on implementing and monitoring the Healthy Homes Guarantees Act,
This sets minimum standards for tenancies’ insulation and warmth.
The Ministry of Social Development will also get a further
$30m over the next four years to fund its frontline housing services, while Housing NZ’s Community Group Housing service for higher-need clients will get a
‘‘These Budget 2018 announcements are on top of the $2.1b committed in the December 2017 mini-Budget as capital and operating funding for the KiwiBuild programme and to set up the Housing Commission,’’ Twyford said.
‘‘The single most important thing the Government can do to solve the housing crisis is to build more affordable homes.
‘‘The best way to tackle homelessness is to build more public housing.’’
Soon after coming to Government Twyford ended what he called the ‘‘state home sell off’’.