Organisation calls for ‘ambitious’ social housing building programme

by Roxanne Libatique13 Feb 2020

With low-income earners still struggling to own a home, the Salvation Army is calling for a better supply of housing – particularly the right types of houses where the demand is most significant.

The organisation revealed in its 2020 State of the Nation Report that more building consents were issued for new dwellings than those required to meet the demand for population growth. Meanwhile, Auckland’s building consents surpassed the demand from population growth from 2015 to 2019.

“We do not believe that this means there is suddenly an excess of total supply over demand in Auckland, but that the new building may now be catching up with the population growth and beginning to reduce the overall shortfall in supply,” Salvation Army said, as reported by Interest.co.nz.

“The crucial issues are income levels, housing costs and distribution, and not necessarily housing supply. We may be seeing a strongly differentiated market, catering well for those who are already homeowners, but not necessarily for low-income families.”

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The organisation suggested that a more comprehensive and ambitious social housing building programme could address the housing issues not only in Auckland but also in different parts of New Zealand.

“Clearly, more emphasis needs to be given to building additional public housing in regions with high levels of demand relative to available stock,” it said.

On the other hand, Housing Minister Megan Woods commented: “State housing is very much matched to where we have demand. We know our waiting list; we know where we need houses. It’s also where we have land that we’re able to redevelop.”

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