Housing & Urban Development Ministry chief executive Andrew Crisp said in his briefing paper to incoming ministers in July, released yesterday: “New Zealand’s housing & urban development system has been under pressure for some time and is not delivering the outcomes sought. New Zealand has:
- High house prices & rents relative to incomes
- Increased housing stress, poor tenure security & increased homelessness
- Inadequate housing supply & choice
- Urban planning systems that increase costs and propagate social exclusion
- Poor construction sector capacity & productivity
- Underinvested in growth-supporting infrastructure
- Poor urban mobility, increased greenhouse gas emissions from transport & poor productivity.”
In response to those issues, Mr Crisp said:
“Increasing housing supply in isolation from consideration of the factors that create thriving communities will reinforce inequality, poverty & social exclusion.
“Iwi, hapu & whanau Maori face some unique housing challenges requiring the development of joined-up, bespoke & innovative responses that actively support Maori needs & aspirations, enhance wellbeing and improve outcomes for Maori.
“The aim is to unlock the potential of Maori land, for whanau to have access to reconnect to their whenua and to build & contribute to their communities.
“Successfully addressing the critical challenge of homelessness depends on recognising the complex & interrelated causes that extend beyond a shortage of housing, and recognising that the solutions are intertwined with the concepts of community & place.
“The effects of poor housing affordability & dysfunctional housing markets are widespread. High house prices relative to incomes:
- Has distributional impacts: transferring wealth from younger and from less wealthy people to existing landowners, who are generally richer & older
- Creates inequality which contributes to wider social & economic costs, including overcrowding & homelessness
- Generates a significant drag on city- & national-level productivity, and hinders labour mobility
- Increases Government costs.
“Improving housing affordability for all people needs to consider the related factors, beyond direct housing costs, that influence household incomes, such as access to opportunity, or transport costs. Income growth is something that policy- & decision-making within the housing & urban development portfolios has a clear & direct bearing on, but requires strong systems focus & cross-portfolio co-ordination to appreciate & advance.”
The work required to address these challenges:
“Increased provision of ‘intermediate market’ products, such as affordable & assisted rental products managed by community housing providers, progressive ownership options and secure, quality market-rental properties are all important complements to public housing & affordable housing for ownership. These solutions support people to progressively move towards greater housing independence.
“For communities to thrive, it is important that people have options about where & how they live. This is facilitated by the availability of affordable homes (owned or rented) and a variety of housing types & sizes in the locations that offer the best access to opportunity & security of tenure.
“Public housing & associated services play an important role in catering for households that have complex housing needs and face multiple barriers to accessing & sustaining private tenancies. Increasing public housing supply is an essential component in addressing severe housing deprivation & preventing homelessness.
“The performance of New Zealand’s main urban areas is critical for New Zealand’s prosperity & wellbeing, and is intricately linked with regional prosperity.
“The key factor in how well urban areas generate prosperity & wellbeing is how well they provide ‘mobility’, which is in turn determined by:
- Well functioning land, housing & construction markets, supported by flexible, responsive land-use policies & infrastructure provision, that deliver sufficient capacity for housing & business growth so that people & firms have real choices about where they live or locate
- A transport system that allows for the efficient movement of people & goods around all parts of the urban area, and which promotes sustainable, safe, healthy & active lifestyles.
“Ensuring that the urban development system supports dynamic, responsive & efficient growth is not just important for the wider wellbeing outcomes sought, such as growing all people’s incomes or transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but is also essential for successful delivery of the Government’s Build programme.
“How much & how quickly new public & affordable housing can be delivered by Government is constrained by the same underlying system issues that constrain the private development market.
“Communities around New Zealand need solutions that work for them and address the specific challenges they face. Addressing systemic issues at a national level as well as taking a place-based approach will ensure communities around New Zealand thrive.
“To do that, the role of Government in the system needs to change and this has already begun.”
Housing & Urban Development briefing paper: Housing – HUD.pdf11.57 MB
Attribution: Briefing paper.