5 Jul 2018

KiwiBuild $180k income cap not fair, Ōtāhuhu locals say

7:09 pm on 5 July 2018

A South Auckland resident says the government's $180,000 KiwiBuild income cap is keeping the poor, poor and the rich, rich.

Fazeel Ali said the income cap was not fair.

Fazeel Ali said the income cap was not fair. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

At least 15,000 people have registered their interest in the scheme since the details were revealed yesterday.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the income cap was fair because many couples earning that much have been shut out of high demand markets like Auckland and Queenstown.

Couples earning up to $180,000 and sole purchasers on $120,000 will be able to buy KiwiBuild homes.

There will be a ballot system for prospective buyers with those whose names are drawn getting the first chance to buy.

But in Ōtāhuhu, Fazeel Ali said the pool of people allowed to buy a KiwiBuild homes was too broad.

"That's not really fair, it's keeping a circle - keeping the poor, poor and make the rich, richer," he said.

He earns $29,000 which he, his partner and their child have to rely on.

The government wants to build 100,000 affordable houses within a decade to get more New Zealanders owning homes.

But Mr Ali was skeptical about whether he would ever be a home owner.

"When one is working and one is staying home taking care of baby, it is really a big gap," he said.

"With one income, it's impossible ... for us, in other words.

Lenny Uepi said most people in the area just were not earning high salaries.

"From what I know [people earn] probably an average of between $20,000 to $40,000 a year," he said.

"For a ... couple, [the salary] would be well under $80,000 a year."

Lenny Uepi

Lenny Uepi Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Mr Uepi said it was tough for them to have to compete with others who were earning tens of thousands of dollars more.

Out in Papakura, Nick Muir recently bought his first home.

But he agreed that the cap should be lower.

"I feel like the KiwiBuild's more suited towards the lower income families [or] couples trying to get into their first home," he said.

"I would have thought probably closer to $120,000 or around that area to be a fairer target."

Nick Muir in Papakura.

Nick Muir in Papakura. Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

It is not just those in Auckland who are questioning the limit.

Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said he thought the cap should be as low as $100,000.

"When your combined income is over $100,000, you can hardly describe that [as] ... needy circumstances compared to people on half that [amount]," he said.