Housing minister says KiwiBuild not for low-income buyers

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 30 October 2018, 7:15AM
Phil Twyford and new Kiwi Build home owners Derryn Jayne and Fletcher Ross stand with PM Jacinda Ardern outside their Papakura Home. 27 October 2018 Photograph by Greg Bowker
Phil Twyford and new Kiwi Build home owners Derryn Jayne and Fletcher Ross stand with PM Jacinda Ardern outside their Papakura Home. 27 October 2018 Photograph by Greg Bowker

Everyone in New Zealand is entitled to having an opportunity of home ownership, the current Government says.

Phil Twyford, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, said KiwiBuild is for families who years ago "would have expected to own their own home".

However, social media users have criticised the Government for allowing one couple to buy a four-bedroom house with no children, and with their occupations.

Derryn Jayne, a graduate doctor, and partner Fletcher Ross, a marketer, have drawn outrage about their suitability for the KiwiBuild scheme.

"So hold on, the first Kiwibuild owners are a soon-to-graduate doctor and a Marketing Manager?" one Twitter user wrote.

"In six months' time they won't be under that $180k cap. This wasn't who I thought Kiwibuild was going to be for."

Another thought the KiwiBuild process was to support families with low incomes to get into homes and said the pair were a "poor choice of poster children".

"What about all the homeless or overcrowded families we used to hear about. Have they all been housed now?", they tweeted.

"Surely the intention of Kiwibuild is to help low-income Kiwis into housing, not doctors and marketing managers."

In response, Twyford told the Herald the pair show how young families like Jayne and Ross are struggling in the current market.

"KiwiBuild is aimed at those families who years ago would have expected to own their own home," he said.

"The fact that young professionals have been locked out of the housing market shows how deeply the national housing crisis is affecting New Zealanders.

"It is building desperately needed affordable starter homes because market failure has led to only 5 per cent of houses being built in this price range in recent years."

To qualify for a KiwiBuild home, New Zealand buyers must not have a joint income up to $180,000 as a couple or $120,000 as one person.

Buyers are also required to be first-time purchasers of a house or be in the same financial situation as first-home buyers.

Currently, the Government is working on a shared equity scheme to help home those on lower incomes Twyford said.

"Our Government is working on a shared equity scheme so those on lower incomes will also be able to realise the dream of home ownership," he said.

"And to help those on lower incomes we're building 6,400 more state houses over the next four years and have already grown the number of emergency housing places to 2500 to address the homelessness caused by the housing crisis being ignored for years."

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