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Investing in Affordable Homes

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Aggregate undersupply of new dwellings has been cited as contributing to New Zealand’s high house prices, falling owner occupation and increasing numbers of households burdened with unaffordable housing.

While central and local government are encouraging new builds and the release of land for residential purposes, high numbers of residential new builds are not affordable housing for those with limited resources. Building consent rates in New Zealand increased considerably between 2001 and 2004. If renting households were to look for a first home, 75% would not be able to meet the housing affordability benchmark. Two-thirds of renters were burdened with unaffordable rents. The key to the apparent contradiction between increased housing stock and the prevalence of households burdened by unaffordable housing lies in shifts in the investment in and building of lower-cost housing.

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