Additional spending for housing welcomed

The Government is committing to a multibillion-dollar investment to build public housing and thousands of affordable homes, a move welcomed by the Real Estate Institute.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced in Budget 2018 Housing New Zealand was to receive an additional $234 million to build 6400 more state and social homes over the next four years.

Institute chief executive Bindi Norwell said home ownership was at its lowest level in 60 years and many New Zealanders would never achieve their dream of owning their home.

"We need to ensure these homes are available as soon as possible. The Government has promised 1600 houses a year, so we look forward to them being able to deliver on this promise."

Yesterday's announcement an additional $234 million would be spent to build 6400 more state and social homes over the next four years was to be welcomed as it would help some of the more vulnerable members of society to have homes, she said.

Mr Twyford said the plan to increase public housing by 1600 a year exceeded the earlier commitment to build at least 1000 state houses a year.

Housing New Zealand could borrow up to $2.9 billion from third parties and invest a further $900 million from its operations.

The combination of borrowing and internal funding by Housing New Zealand began under the former government to fund the Auckland housing programme.

It was now being expanded to allow Housing NZ to provide additional public housing places, he said.

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