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It’s shameful that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for Wanaka’s dismal KiwiBuild scheme, with the Government now buying five of the houses that failed to sell, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says.

“I’m shocked to learn that these five KiwiBuild homes have now been purchased by the Crown, with the Government agreeing to underwrite all 211 Wanaka homes.

“This means taxpayers will now be expected to carry the can for losses incurred by private developers over these unsold homes, and who knows how long this will go on before these properties sell.

“It’s totally irresponsible of the Government to have voluntarily taken over the financial risk of this scheme as a way to get developers involved.

“We all know what a flop KiwiBuild has been in Wanaka with just five of the 10 homes on offer having sold and 200 more in the pipeline to be built.

“These homes did not sell because they don’t meet family’s needs – and what makes the Government think now that they’ve taken ownership they’re going to sell any faster.

“It was foolish of this Government to rush in and agree to underwrite this project, when they had no idea what the sales outcome might be and how dare they play fast and loose with taxpayers money.

“Taxpayers will now be footing the bill for maintenance and upkeep costs, like lawn-mowing, while the Government tries to sell these homes.

“This agreement does not in any way address the housing needs of Wanaka families, but effectively benefits developers.

“I visited one of the two-bedroom unsold KiwiBuild houses at 43 GlenDene Crescent, recently and was shocked at the poor design and lack of space.

“The rooms are extremely small. Once there is a bed inside there would be no room for anything else. There is no garage, nowhere for a clothes line and no outside area for children unless you want them playing on the front street.

“It’s unbelievable the Government would consider this a family home. It’s wasted taxpayer’s money approving a development which is just not fit for purpose.”

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