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A stocktake of New Zealand’s housing.

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Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, ,

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This stocktake report, commissioned by the Housing Minister Phil Twyford in November 2017, aims to furnish the New Zealand public with a comprehensive overview of the nation's housing markets and system.

Through a series of reviews backed by data and references, the document sheds light on various housing outcomes and policy areas, acknowledging the intricate challenges inherent in the subject matter. Despite its high-level perspective, the report inadvertently touches upon policy implications, particularly where outcomes directly result from policy decisions, such as the significant rates of children’s hospitalisations due to substandard housing conditions. The report highlights the inadequacy of responses to homelessness, noting the emergency housing programme’s expansion yet pointing to the persistent and possibly stabilizing problem of homelessness across the country. It brings attention to the decline in home ownership rates to the lowest in 60 years, exacerbated by disproportionate rises in house prices compared to incomes, and how these trends have impacted first-home buyers and rental market dynamics significantly.
Moreover, the report discusses the exacerbated housing insecurity among Māori and Pacific peoples, attributing their declining home ownership rates and increased housing instability to recent housing policies. It calls for focused policy action to enhance home ownership and rental security for these groups. Additionally, it critiques the effectiveness of the Accommodation Supplement in addressing affordability issues, suggesting that rising rents may absorb increases in this assistance, thus necessitating a thorough review of the program. The document also advocates for strengthening tenants’ rights, given the poor quality of rental housing and the insecurity of tenure. It underscores the need for a fundamental review of tenancy laws to provide greater security for tenants and to foster professional landlordism. Lastly, it points out the growing housing-related poverty among older people, a demographic increasingly facing limited housing options due to falling homeownership rates and inadequate social housing provision.

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