The price caps on eligibility for first home grants will be increased in many parts of the country, for both existing and new builds. The house price and income caps will also now be reviewed every six months to make sure they continue to stay up to date.
“The Kāinga Whenua Loan cap will also be increased from $200,000 to $500,000 to provide more choice and opportunities for people building, relocating, or purchasing a home on whenua Māori,” housing minister Megan Woods said.
In Auckland the price cap on existing properties for a first home grant will increase from $625,000 to $875,000. In Wellington the increase is from $550,000 to $750,000. Some areas, such as the Far North, will have no increase for existing properties but an increase in the cap for new builds (from $500,000 to $675,000).
A new programme has been established, the Affordable Housing Fund, to “support the development of new affordable homes for low-to-moderate income families and whānau in areas facing the biggest housing supply and affordability challenges,” Megan Woods said.
The Affordable Housing Fund has been funded from the $350m Residential Development Response Fund (RDRF) announced in 2020 to support the construction sector during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, which was not required. The government will convert $200 million of the RDRF to non-recyclable funding for the Affordable Housing Fund to be available as grants.
The first stage of the Affordable Housing Fund will offer $50m worth of grant funding to not-for-profits to deliver affordable rental housing in Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier/Hastings, Wellington, and Nelson/Tasman.