Housing Minister Phil Twyford is adamant that KiwiBuild can reach its long-term goal of building 100,000 homes as he announced a new partnership today that will build 104 homes.
The Government has partnered with residential developer Mike Greer, who will build more than 100 KiwiBuild homes in Auckland and Christchurch, including the first in Canterbury.
The announcement is the first since Mr Twyford revealed last month that only 300 homes would be completed in the first year of KiwiBuild, 700 houses short of the stated target.
Asked today if he was confident he could still reach the target of 100,000 homes, Mr Twyford was resolute.
"Absolutely, because of the policies we’ve got in place, the support of developers like Mike Greer Homes, because of the demand that’s out there," he said.
"We’ve had some teething problems in the first few months of the programme, but this is a massive 10-year programme.
"By doing these two things, by partnering with developers who can scale up and build a volume and by the government through the urban development authority getting more actively involved in development, cutting through the red tape and undertaking large scale development projects."
"I have no doubt, alongside the other measures that we’re taking, freeing up the planning rules, new waves of financing infrastructure, working much more closely with councils on large scale development, that we turn this around and build our way out of the national housing crisis."
Mr Twyford and Mr Greer agreed it was important for first-home buyers to be able to see homes before the purchase rather than buy off the plans, with Mike Greer Homes committing to having KiwiBuild homes finished before they are taken to the market.
"We know for example that first-home buyers don’t necessarily want to buy homes off the plan, they want to feel, and see, and touch their new home before they commit, it’s a big deal for first-home buyers to take on a mortgage of $300,000, $400,000 or even $500,000
The partnership with Mike Greer will build 104 homes including the cheapest KiwiBuild offerings so far with 11 two-bedroom standalone homes for $360,000 in Kaiapoi in Christchurch.
The other 54 homes in Christchurch will be built in Rolleston, Woodend, Rangiora, Halswell, Pegasus, Marshland, and Spreydon while 39 properties will also be built in Huapai and Whenuapai in West Auckland and Pukekohe in the city's south.
They will be completed between now and mid-2020 and are a mix of two and three bedroom, standalone and terraced homes, ranging from $360,000 to $650,000.
"This agreement with one of New Zealand’s premier home building firms show KiwiBuild is gathering momentum. I hope these 104 homes will be just the first of many we will build with Mike Greer over the coming years," Mr Twyford said.
"Mike has a strong commitment to affordable housing, it’s fantastic KiwiBuild is able to work with him to build great looking starter homes for families to buy.
"Auckland’s North-West is a growing area and we need to make sure we’re getting affordable housing here, not just million-dollar homes."
"Our first KiwiBuild homes in Christchurch are part of the Government’s plan to ensure house prices there remain stable and we meet the strong demand for more homes that is forecast over the coming years."