The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has called for new KiwiBuild targets to be established following Phil Twyford’s announcement that the one-year target has been scrapped.
The government admitted last week that it has fallen well short of its target of 1000 homes by July 2019, with only 33 houses having been completed under the scheme so far. REINZ Chief Executive Bindi Norwell says implementing KiwiBuild has clearly been tougher than originally expected, and that the government needs to come up with new, more realistic targets to aim for.
“I don’t think they really realised how difficult it would be,” Norwell told NZ Adviser. “The consent process has been holding them back, as well as land constraints and the high cost of building. There’s also a lot of compliance and regulation that holds things up and adds additional costs, and we haven’t been able to leverage things like prefab housing, and other innovative solutions that could speed up the process.”
“These factors are why Minister Twyford has set up the Housing and Urban Development Authority, to try and tackle some of the big issues.”
Norwell says that while the housing shortage is not an easy issue to fix, milestones are important for any major project that is a key part of the government’s agenda. She says a good starting point would be 5000 houses by July 2020 – 5% of the total number promised.
“They’ve talked about 100,000 homes in ten years, but anything could happen over that period of time,” she explained. “We could change political parties, so it’s very important to have some accountability for this term. This has been a large part of their manifesto and high on their priority list, so it’s important that they at least set some achievable milestones and targets to measure success. They need to come up with something that’s realistic, given that they’ve got new evidence that it’s tougher than they thought.”