New Zealand faces a “deeper and more entrenched” housing crisis than had previously been revealed, according to a stocktake of the country’s housing sector commissioned by Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.
The report assesses the entire housing continuum from homeownership and market renting, to state housing and homelessness, and the social cost of substandard housing.
“The stocktake highlights the increasing number of elderly facing housing-related poverty because fewer and fewer are mortgage free and able to survive on Superannuation alone.
“Most concerning is the hidden homeless – those who feel they can’t seek government housing support for their families – for which there are no official estimates. The stocktake suggests there could be significant numbers of ‘floating homeless’ which will lead to a growing homeless rate as more people seek help,” Twyford says.
The stock take report was commissioned in November and, at the time, Twyford said it would provide an up to date picture of the housing market.
He said it was time to open the books and give New Zealanders an accurate picture of the true state of housing in New Zealand.
Twyford was critical of how the previous government handled New Zealand’s housing issues and accused the National Party of keeping crucial housing data under wraps.
Three experts were appointed to carry out the housing market stocktake.
They are economist Shamubeel Eaqub, housing academic Philippa Howden-Chapman and long-time community housing advocate Alan Johnson.
Twyford says the stocktake warned New Zealand is “quickly becoming a society divided by the ownership of housing and its related wealth” and found “recent housing and tax policy settings appear to have exacerbated this division.”
“The Government is committed to addressing this inequality. Fixing the housing crisis will take bold action. The Government has a significant work programme to respond to these failures; implementing KiwiBuild, improving conditions for renters, increasing the supply of public housing, and rebalancing tax settings to discourage speculation.”
In addition to the report, Twyford released this stocktake by the numbers document, and this stocktake key findings and solutions document.
The charts below come from the report.
Five year changes in housing stock and population – 1997 to 2017
Homeownership rates for households - 1936 to 2017