Government eyes build-to-rent scheme - 'A lot of us are going to be renters for a long time'

The Government is eyeing a build-to-rent scheme, intending to provide "high quality, secure-tenure rental housing" by urging investors through incentives such as only requiring payment for Government land after rental buildings are completed. 

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It involves working with big private property developers to increase supply. Source: 1 NEWS

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the build-to-rent model has emerged in Britain and Australia, "where some of these investors are looking for stable, long term yields".

"This is the possibility of large-scale commercial investors building apartment complexes that would provide high quality, secure-tenure rental housing.  

"It's not for capital gain... and there are some people who are interested in making those investments here."

He has asked officials for advice on the scheme and how Government could work with developers to help get "some of these projects over the line". 

Mr Twyford said the Government would not provide investment, but that doesn't exclude finding other ways to encourage projects that "will give the investors a stable, secure long term return".

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Phil Twyford said he was looking into "high quality, secure tenure rental housing", which could include the model that provides new rentals. Source: 1 NEWS

"More high-quality renting options would be good for the one-third of people who are renters," he said.

Build-to-rent was a scheme contemplated outside of the KiwiBuild reset.

"We believe there are powerful benefits to home ownership," Mr Twyford explained. "No matter how successful we are in reversing the decline in home ownership, a lot of us are going to be renters for a long time to come, so we've got to make renting work better."

It's a sentiment Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern echoed today.

A build-to-rent model would be about accepting that “people are in different stages of life”, and not about pushing renting over home ownership, she said.

“Renting is an expensive option for many," she explained. "It is about making those pathways for ownership easier, but for people in all different walks of life.”

Last night, a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll showed the public still backs KiwiBuild despite the Government facing increasing pressure over its flagship housing programme. 

The poll asked, "Do you think the Government should continue with the KiwiBuild scheme?"

Sixty per cent said yes, the Government should keep going, while 34 per cent said no and five per cent didn't have an opinion.