The government has lifted Kainga Ora social housing agency’s borrowing limit by $4.05 billion to $7.1 billion following the Greens’ call for more borrowing to fund state housing.
With the extra borrowing, the government would be able to lift its state house building plan from only 6,400 to 11,200 homes by 2022. The government has yet to announce its new target. However, if the cost was the same for the 6,400 houses already planned for a total of $4 billion, then it would allow extra 4,800 homes to be built with the higher borrowing limit – lifting the target to 11,200.
“The increased limit provides headroom for future debt issuance, helping us to continue financing much-needed warm, dry and safe houses across New Zealand,” Kainga Ora said, as reported by Newsroom.
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Meanwhile, Housing Minister Megan Woods confirmed that Kainga Ora had already delivered more than 3,400 additional public homes and had begun work to upgrade thousands of older homes.
“But to maintain that pace Kāinga Ora needs extra financial headroom. This extra $4b will enable Kāinga Ora to continue to deliver more public housing of the right size in the right place. This includes progressing large scale urban developments in Northcote, Mangere, Mt Roskill and Oranga, which will deliver around 22,000 new homes over the next 10 to 15 years in Auckland. The majority of these costs are for infrastructure,” Woods said.
“The money will also be spent on upgrading around 2,000 older state homes and 500 multi-unit buildings to make them warmer, drier and healthier. Currently we have record low rates on the cost of borrowing and we’re using that to invest in our people.”