Kiwibuild should build more rental houses

Phil Twyford Photoshopped image Credit: Pixy

For once, and only once, I agree with Shamubeel Eaqub. I have always said that the government should not be involved in the private housing market. Sure, home ownership is something that most Kiwis aspire to, but the private market takes care of itself. Instead, the government should be focusing on providing houses for those that cannot afford to buy their own home. quote.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub says KiwiBuild will have to change and might be better off building social or rental houses if it’s to reach its goal of 100,000 houses.

With KiwiBuild having difficulty getting projects off the ground, he suggests it might be time to switch to building social housing or even rental houses, because buyers aren’t at the price points that KiwiBuild houses are selling for. end quote.

Phil Twyford had a great time telling everyone how Labour were going to build all these houses that National could have been building, but didn’t. Typically, he didn’t do any homework, and has now found out that none of this is as easy as he claimed it would be. You know what they say. If Rome had been built in a day, National would have used the same contractor. quote.

“The underlying issue of affordability never went away, and that’s been the achilles heel of KiwiBuild from the beginning.

“The reason why I think build to rent has to be the answer is because that is how they solved the housing crisis post-war in Europe.

“If you think about the waitlist we have for state housing right now, that’s around 10,000 families. This Government is planning to build more unlike the last government, which was selling them but even then they’re planning to build about 4600,”

He said the Government was planning to fail.?
“Not only are we not keeping up with population growth we are not even meeting current need. We need to much more ambitious [sic] about scaling it up massively.”

end quote

No, and unless something is done about immigration, we will never catch up. A net number of over 60,000 immigrants came into the country last year. That number may be down slightly on previous years, but it still represents about 20,000 more houses being needed. quote.

Eaqub?said that?KiwiBuild?was not fit for purpose and should be changed to meet the greatest need. He said there were good economic reasons for doing so and noted that the accommodation supplement is a huge and growing cost for the government.

?Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church is also expecting KiwiBuild?to change, in the form of some kind of sweetener.?With its homes selling for not much less than the market price,?and penalties for people who sell their KiwiBuild homes early, Church said the Government would be forced to alter its centrepiece housing programme.
“This will take the form of changes to eligibility criteria, a coordinated Government ‘charm offensive’ to private developers, or some form of state subsidisation or delayed payment, or any combination of these”.

Stuff end quote.

With Kiwibuild’s current rate of house completion, there is no way that it is ever going to make its mark on private housing. It is not even providing homes at a cheaper price than can be bought elsewhere. Governments should concentrate on looking after those who need state housing. They are the ones that most often end up homeless or living in cars. They are the ones that most often end up in real poverty. That would be one way of helping to solve the child poverty issue. Instead, we have to pretend to be helping young families ‘locked out’ of the housing market. At the rate Kiwibuild is producing houses, they will still be ‘locked out’ in 10 years time.