Housing affordability survey

One of the many interest groups who have sent mass surveys to council candidates is the Wellington Housing Trust. They sent a survey on housing affordability to all candidates for Wellington City Council on Wednesday 22 September 2010.
Candidates were told that the Wellington Housing Trust will call on the new Council to:

  • Work with central government to grow community housing organisations in Wellington so we can meet some of the increasing housing needs – both in home ownership and affordable rental.
  • Change consent processes and development contributions for community housing organisations so we can increase our housing provision.
  • Offer any appropriate surplus Council owned land to community housing organisations for the provision of affordable housing.

 Candidates were then asked the following two questions:

  1. Do you believe housing affordability is an issue in Wellington City?
  2. If so what do you think should be done to address this issue?

The full survey document, together with candidate responses, can be downloaded here.

[Update: We’ve been provided with an updated version of the survey, which now includes the responses from Celia Wade-Brown and Ingrid Sage]


6 responses to “Housing affordability survey

  1. My comments on Housing have now been received by the Housing Trust – my admin oversight earlier.
    1. Do you believe housing affordability is an issue in Wellington City?

    Yes, definitely – rental, purchase price, transport costs and heating.

    2. If so what do you think should be done to address this issue?
    *Keep WCC stock and improve as we are doing.
    *Encourage redevelopment of some office buildings in city centre as student and other accommodation (above ground floor)
    *Continue to promote home insulation and clean heating schemes.
    *Continue support for the Newtown Curtain Bank
    *Promote Habitat 4 Humanity housing
    *Build exemplar projects on public land – a collaboration between WCC, HCC, GW, Kiwirail and architects could see modest apartments (3 or 4 storeys) built over railway stations e.g. Raroa Rd, Naenae, Porirua to give surveillance and shelter to train users and convenient housing. They could be housing trust or rent-to-buy. This would be financed by borrowing against the rent to come in so should be cost-neutral to ratepayers.
    *Explore Queenstown’s District Plan change for affordable housing to be part of most developments within the district.
    *Consider lobbying for a minimum standard for rental property or a rating system like Dunedin City Council’s STARS scheme.
    *Work regionally (Hutt Valley, Porirua andWellington) to produce a Housing Strategy that includes Councils, HNZ, third sector and builders.
    *Consider low interest loans to Housing Trusts.

    • Thanks Celia. They have just sent us an updated copy of the survey and the full set of responses. Our link above now points to the most recent version.

  2. Many of the things Celia proposes aren’t making housing any cheaper they’re just shifting costs round through some residents subsidising others. I’m particularly disappointed to see housing for humanity in there, that is horribly inequitable. A tiny number of people win the prize and the vast majority are no better off, you may as wel just buy lotto tickets for everyone in the central park flats.

    A factor that makes housing unaffordable that the council can actually influence is the supply of land. What’s the council doing to make more sections available for people to buy and build on. I recall Kerry P saying landbanking was restricting supply (and of course she couldn’t do anything – Rex might not get invited to golf perhaps). Why isn’t the council using ratings system to discourage landbanking? Likewise has the council set affordability of new builds as a criteria for how it chooses to set charges new builds?

    • Don’t criticise Rex, he knows where you live. Or if he doesn’t know where you live, he can find out from his missus.

  3. I think you’ve misunderstood Habitat for Humanity. They’ve done a refurbished Berhampor ehome but usually work on new homes – from their website…

    Habitat is not a hand- out programme. Each partner family invests at least 500 hours of their own labour, called “sweat equity”, into building and or renovating their homes and the homes of others.
    Habitat relies heavily on volunteer labour to help build or renovate the homes, and has several key sponsorship partners who donate or discount a range of building materials. We also have a number of businesses that support their local community house builds.

    The houses are sold to partner families on a not-for-profit basis and are financed with affordable loans.

    • So what aspect of HFH don’t I understand? A small select few get a large subsidy/donation to buy a house and doesn’t address any underlying issues related to home affordability or household income.

      …and 500 hours is just a token effort, how many hours does a homeowner or landlord put into their house normally.

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