Everyone deserves a healthy and affordable place to call home.
But for many New Zealanders, the dream of owning their own home has felt like it’s moving further out of reach. We’re determined to change that.
The Chris Hipkins Government is working hard to make housing more affordable for all New Zealanders – and we’re making good progress.
To make housing more affordable for both first-home buyers and renters, New Zealand needs to build more homes to meet demand. It’s a challenge that we’re tackling on all fronts.
One of the ways that we’re adding to the country’s housing stock is through our public home-building programme. We’ve already added over 13,000 additional public houses and we’re on track to deliver over 18,000 new public and transitional housing places by 2024.
The fast pace of delivery of public housing means that on a yearly basis, we’re delivering the most public homes since the 1950s. And one in seven of all public homes in New Zealand has now been delivered by our Government.
We’ve also made changes to the systems that have prevented more housing from being built. We know that one of the largest barriers to the construction of more homes is a lack of basic infrastructure.
Our Infrastructure Acceleration Fund - designed to speed up the pace and scale of house building - has taken a big step toward tackling this problem. This initiative is jumpstarting housing developments by funding the vital infrastructure needed for new housing – like roads, water pipes, and flood management systems. This funding is enabling 30,000 to 35,000 new homes across New Zealand over the next 10 to 15 years.
We’re also delivering a new resource management system to cut red tape, lower costs and speed up the time it takes to get new housing and infrastructure projects approved. By making the process quicker, cheaper and better, we’re helping to unlock the housing that New Zealand needs.
In addition to putting New Zealand on a path to more housing construction, we’ve taken a range of actions to help people buy their first home, including curbing unfair practices that drive up house prices – like speculation.
As house prices have climbed in recent decades, so too has the cost of a down payment. This represents a major barrier for many first-time buyers – especially young families.
That’s why we’ve put in place the First Home Grant and First Home Loan to help people pull together the funds they need, and we’ve updated the settings to ensure they reflect the housing market so more people can get them.
We’ve also launched a Progressive Home Ownership scheme, which includes shared equity and rent-to-own arrangements. This scheme helps to alleviate the barriers caused by high house prices by providing more time and support to people on the path to homeownership, and by allowing them to live and grow in their homes.
We’ve made renting fairer for New Zealanders. We modernised the outdated Residential Tenancies Act by banning no-cause terminations, limiting rent increases to once a year, and enabling tenants to make changes like quake-proofing. We also got rid of unfair letting fees, which drove up costs for families, and lots more.
We’re also committed to ensuring safe, secure and affordable housing for older New Zealanders.
Just this week we released a discussion paper with proposed changes to our retirement villages sector. There are improvements that could be made to better serve the housing needs of older Kiwis. This includes consumer protection, rebalancing the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators, and supporting the ongoing viability of the sector.
In tough times, it’s normal to look for change. But you don’t move forward by looking back. There’s no quick fix to a housing crisis that has been decades in the making, but actions like these are starting to make a real difference. Now, we need to keep going.
Stay in the loop by signing up to our mailing list and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.