Friday, September 05, 2014

National's housing numbers don't add up

Two weeks ago, National launched its housing policy. A combination of grants and increased access to loans, it was expected to help an extra 40,000 people over five years, at a cost of $218 million. The problem? The numbers just don't add up.

Someone used FYI, the public OIA request website, to obtain some statistics on the scheme it was replacing:

This only covers part of National's scheme - the grants. But it suggests that they will help about 6,000 people a year, climbing to 12,000 in five year's time. But its not the number of people that's the problem - its the cost. At present, these grants cost $23.3 million a year. National is going to double the grants, so that will at least double to ~$47 million. Multiply that by five years, and you're looking at $235 million - more than they've budgeted (and that budget is supposed to include loans too). And that doesn't account for the growth, which can be expected to add an extra $75 million over the five year period.

So, one part of National's housing policy is going to cost $100 million more than they say it will. Their numbers don't add up.