FINANCE

Changes to Kainga Whenua loan scheme on the horizon

Saturday 13 October 2012, 3:01PM
By Tariana Turia
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Hon Tariana Turia, Associate Minister of Housing, has today announced the Government has made changes to the Kainga Whenua loan scheme which will enable houses to be built on multiply owned Maori land.  The expanded policy will provide an opportunity to advance housing aspirations for whanau, hapu, Maori Land Trusts and individuals and will start rolling out on 1 December 2012 for individuals and in 2013 for trusts.

Mrs Turia said “the original intention of the kainga whenua policy was to support the development of housing solutions on Maori land, and to assist in unlocking the potential of this valuable resource for whanau, hapu, and iwi. It has always been an important initiative, and an admirable goal.”

“Successive reviews have demonstrated that the product has not quite reached its full potential. We have responded to the concerns raised, and I am pleased to announce today that changes have been made to improve the accessibility of this fund which will move whanau and hapu closer to their housing aspirations.”

Mrs Turia said “we have made changes to eligibility criteria, such as expanding the net on who can apply for these loans. The fund will now be open to Maori Land Trusts, whanau or hapu groups who wish to build on Maori land. We have also opened the fund up to all individual borrowers assessed as able to service a mortgage, not just first home buyers.”

“We have revised the income cap for borrowers from $85,000 to $120,000 for one borrower  and up to $160,000 for 2 or more borrowers.”

“Loans can also now be used for home improvements, repairs and maintenance.”

“These changes reflect the feedback that we have received from the Maori housing sector, and show that we are committed to supporting whanau, hapu and iwi to achieve their housing aspirations.”

“I would like to thank the many people who have played a role in shaping this revised policy by providing critical and constructive feedback. I also urge our whanau, hapu and Trusts to take another look at this policy and how it may work for them in the future.”

Notes:

Individuals can apply for a loan from 1 December 2012 and Trusts will be able to apply in 2013.

For more information on the Kainga Whenua loan process please contact Housing New Zealand on 0508 935 266 or www.hnzc.co.nz. To ascertain your eligibility for a Kainga Whenua loan from Kiwibank, call Kiwibank on 0800 272 278.