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Affordable Housing Are you eligible?

There remains a high level of confusion from potential buyers around the extremely strict eligibility rules applied to developers, who progressed in 2015 and 2016 under the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. "HASHA"

The Special Housing confusion in the "Affordable" marketplace has been caused by the shifting requirements for homes under the HASHA, plus other affordable offers through the Homestart and the Unitary Plan removing any "Affordable Home" provisions.

The HASHA requires the developer to sell a house and land package under a capped price set off the Auckland Median House Price in the immediate period prior to the resource consent lodgement date of the Qualifying Development.

In today's market (Aug 2017), buyers will see "Affordable Homes" advertised for around $618,750-00 or the previous year $578,000-00. That capped price is fixed unless the developer lodges an amended consent and council agrees to the amendment.

When searching for these first home offerings, home buyers will almost always end up checking out the Housing New Zealand managed Homestart offering which is completely different to Special Housing under HASHA. The strong advertising from Homestart, as an official source is indeed a cause of confusion. They clearly outline house price maximums of $600,000-00 (existing dwellings) or $650.000-00 for new builds. Homestart, then outlines the household eligibility threshold. As an example; for a couple, they could earn up to $130,000-00 before tax and be eligible for a Homestart grant. This is not necessarily the same income threshold applicable for an Affordable Home in a gazetted HASHA subdivision.

While, the 2013 HASHA Legislation captures a much lower threshold of both individual and combined maximum income, in two of our current affordable projects they can only earn a maximum of $110,947-00 per annum before tax.

In the meantime, developers should not sell any Affordable Homes captured under the HASHA framework to buyers who earn more than the actual maximum annual earnings. At some stage the developer will realise the sale is not legal and will be forced to cancel the sale or void the purchase.

This field is very complex and confusing. It pays to carefully check your resource consent wording or better yet contact us to review it - for the affordable price of free of course!