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Somewhere to live: Exploring solutions to the housing affordability crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Helen Clark Foundation, ,

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This report explores the multifaceted housing affordability crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand, attributing the issue to systemic economic factors, notably the treatment of housing as an investment rather than a public good.

The analysis covers the impact of taxation, financial regulation, and speculative investment, which have significantly contributed to escalating house and land prices, thereby undermining household economic security. It explores the historical context, including Māori perspectives on land and the colonial legacy, to frame the current crisis within broader social and economic injustices. The report also notes that Māori homeownership is dropping faster and that the housing system in New Zealand does not provide adequate support for alternative housing types, particularly papakāinga and development on Māori land. The paper proposes a multi-pronged policy approach aimed at disrupting speculative investment, reducing debt accumulation, and promoting alternative housing provisions to cater to diverse needs. It emphasises the need for a coordinated policy response to address the root causes of the affordability crisis, advocating for capital gains tax, debt-to-income limits, integrating housing into urban planning, and the development of leasehold housing managed by hapū or community land trusts. It also provides a breakdown of how these policies would effect different types of households. This report considers both the economic mechanisms at play and the socio-cultural dimensions, including the impact on Māori and younger generations.

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