KiwiBuild a 'totally failed policy' - Nicola Willis

Source: 1News

The Opposition continues to hit out at the Government's beleaguered KiwiBuild scheme, with National's deputy leader saying it's "failed".

The Government announced on Tuesday price and income caps are being loosened. In some cases they're being completely removed.

For multiple buyers, the income threshold will be lifted from $180,000 to $200,000.

For individuals with dependants, an income cap of $150,000 is being created.

READ MORE: Govt relaxes restrictions around troubled KiwiBuild policy

Those in need of bigger or more accessible homes will have caps removed entirely.

But in the wake of restrictions being relaxed, National's Nicola Willis told Breakfast she'd been left thinking: "'Why are you trying to save a totally failed policy'?"

"We all know KiwiBuild hasn't worked, stop trying to fix it, you're shuffling chairs on the Titanic at this point."

When KiwiBuild began in 2018 there was an "overly ambitious" target to build 100,000 houses in 10 years. This target was scrapped under what Housing Minister Megan Woods recently described as a "reset" in 2019.

Just 1380 KiwiBuild houses have been constructed so far, and another 1200 are under construction.

Willis remarked National had "consistently" said the Government needed to get rid of some of the red tape getting in the way of building houses. It's why it worked with the Government to amend the Resource Management Act to enable housing intensification.

READ MORE: Woods continues to defend beleaguered KiwiBuild scheme

But Willis said more could still be done.

She said National wants to see it be easier for people to build at every stage of the consenting process and "cold, hard cash" be given to community housing providers.

READ MORE: Revealed: How KiwiBuild failed Māori and Pasifika

Willis said organisations such as The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity are "crying out to build houses".

She said they lack a bit of start-up funding, so the Government should provide it.