October 14, 2012
Kainga Whenua scheme overhauled
Associate Housing Minister Tariana Turia is hoping changes to the Kainga Whenua scheme will allow more Maori to build homes on family land.
The changes include lifting the income cap for borrowers, opening the fund to all individual borrowers and not just first home buyers, but allowing Maori land trusts, hapu and whanau groups to apply.
Mrs Turia says the scheme was developed because the majority of Maori land is multiply-owned, and in the past there have been problems getting banks to lend.
She says there are no plans to extend Kainga Whenua to Maori who want to build on land in general title.
“If we start building on private land, then you are probably looking at another $150,000 on top of the private loan, and the families we are talking about can’t afford that. It’s just a matter of expediency that families want to build. Those who want to build then therefore have a choice, particularly if they are low in income, to go back on their own land and therefore save a considerable amount of money,” Mrs Turia says.
She expects up to 90 Kainga Whenua loans a year to be made through Kiwibank.