People wanting to buy one of the Government's affordably priced homes will not be income-tested.

That means high-income earners will not be blocked from purchasing one of the 100,000 planned houses to be built over 10 years, which will be priced at up to $650,000.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the criteria for prospective buyers in the KiwiBuild scheme were still being developed.

It is already known that the houses will be limited to first home-buyers and permanent residents.


But it is understood that income caps will not be used for the scheme.

Income-testing has been used for other Government housing initiatives - including the HomeStart grant for first home buyers - to ensure that demand is limited to only those who need them most.

The HomeStart grants are limited to sole buyers earning less than $85,000 or two or more buyers earning less than $130,000.

In the case of KiwiBuild, the Government feels affordable housing should not be restricted only to those on low or modest incomes.

For people on the lowest incomes, the Government has committed to expanding social housing. The Budget included $4 billion in funding or borrowing to build 1600 new state houses a year.

Further policies are being devised for those who are struggling to get into affordable housing, including a possible shared equity scheme.

Twyford said last week that officials were looking at a scheme which would allow a third party such as a bank or a government agency to co-own a property by taking on a share of the mortgage.

That would reduce the owner's deposit and weekly mortgage payments.
The owner could then buy the remaining share off the third party when they could afford to.


There are likely to be other KiwiBuild requirements such as a minimum length of stay before resale.