PHOTO: One News

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Housing Minister Phil Twyford has slammed National’s claims it could do more for housing as “laughable”. The Waimahia development in South Auckland has been hailed as a success, and former Housing Minister Nick Smith has told the Government it should look at it as an example of a good way affordable housing can be done. “It has delivered 295 genuinely affordable homes,” Mr Smith told 1 NEWS today.

The housing development was launched in October 2013 by former Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith and former Auckland Mayor Len Brown. First home buyers have acquired 234 of the Waimahia homes, with 91 purchased with a mortgage, 85 under shared equity and 58 under rent-to-buy schemes.

The remaining 61 homes are rented to high need tenants at discounted rentals, as social housing and are owned by CORT Community Housing, Accessible Properties, Monte Cecilia Trust, and Habitat for Humanity. But Mr Smith still denies there was an issue with housing under the National Government. “Housing is difficult.

It takes time, just like this project,” he said. Darcelle Bell-Ata-Ata is a big part of the community at Waimahia, even chairing the Residents Association. But she said she would never have been able to own a home here without the shared equity scheme. “We’re a single income family, we have a disabled son – the property ladder was looking near impossible for us.”