Tuesday , October 26 2021

As the KiwiBuild falters, the State House builds rockets with a nine-fold increase



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Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has faced serious questions about KiwiBuild's ability to deliver, but its state housing program has been more successful.

ALDEN WILLIAMS / STUFF

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford has faced serious questions about KiwiBuild's ability to deliver, but its state housing program has been more successful.

The KiwiBuild may be hesitant, but the government seems able to comply with a plan to build houses: state houses.

The number of state-owned homes being built by Housing NZ has increased nine-fold in the last three years, according to data prepared for Housing Minister Phil Twyford's hearing on Wednesday morning. Thing exhibition.

There are 2700 state residences under construction, with 1389 with completion scheduled for July 2020. By June 2016, only 282 residences were under construction.

Figures from a provided NZ Housing document Thing according to the Official Information Act details the reformulation of NZ Housing that allowed this to happen, including a massive increase in the amount of land being planned for state residences: from land that could house 1,500 houses to land with a capacity of 46,000 .

Other internal changes reduced labor costs by 15 percent, increased the number of employees, and halved the number of days a vacant property is kept vacant before being repatriated, from 38 days in June 2016 to 19 days in June 2018.

NZ Housing expects to deliver a net number of about 1,100 homes per year in the next three years after building 1043 in 2017/18 and an expectation of 1,300 in July 2019.

Despite the massive increase, the waiting list for public housing has steadily climbed to record highs, with 11,067 eligible households on the waiting list at the end of March.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford says the increase in the program will have to last for a long time, even before unmet demand is met.

"It's the biggest construction program we've seen in decades," Twyford said. We do not mean to slow down. "

Despite this, he did not seek new money for Housing NZ or permission to borrow more from the Budget as the agency had enough capital to use the controversial $ 5.6 billion funding guaranteed in the latest Budget.

Twyford was clear about the fact that the increase in construction capacity began before he became a minister.

"In the last year and a half of the National Government, they seemed to panic over the housing crisis. They reversed the order they had given to sell a large number of houses and began to build, and began to see how they could see how to use their earth more efficiently, "said Twyford.

"They increased their production, we put it on steroids."

"Housing NZ is doing something different and quite unique." It has land assets in basically all regions of the country, has a balance sheet worth US $ 26 billion, and now has a government that has mandated to accelerate its program of construction". to build as many houses as possible. "

Twyford said that the $ 5.6 billion that New Zealand lent from its own books against the Treasury Board were key.

The state building numbers do not include more than 600 new community housing sites not operated by New Zealand Housing.

Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Ricardo Menendez March said that getting the waiting list down would require a lot more money directly for Housing NZ, not through loans.

"The current government goals for state housing do not scratch the surface when it comes to need.

"This really shows that the government needs to consider redefining its initial goals alongside its KiwiBuild targets."

National Party spokeswoman Judith Collins has repeatedly said that the waiting list has increased due to increases in rents from government changes.

"More people are coming out of the rental market as rental companies and just saying" I can not be bothered, it's very difficult ", said Collins earlier this year.

"[Landlords] are being attacked by the threat of capital gains, the bright line test being increased to five years, any kind of attack on them, especially by the minister – when many of these owners are only buyers of mothers and fathers who are coming to retirement or are saying that it is very difficult and they are coming out of the market ".

Rents rose under this government, particularly in Wellington, but also steadily increased with National as housing shortages rose.

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