Figures show Wellington is 3590 homes short of what it needs

Mar 1, 2017 | News

Turning that around will be no easy task. A report that will be tabled at a council meeting this week predicts Wellington will need to build another 21,000 dwellings by 2043.

The number of people in Wellington currently on the waiting list for social housing is 303. The Salvation Army says it is dealing with a noticeable rise in emergency housing requests, which has filled stock almost to capacity.

Wellington Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle, who has been put in charge of the city council’s recently established housing taskforce, acknowledged the housing deficit was seeing some residents resort to desperate measures.

“If flats are being advertised as four residents there might be eight living there,” he said. “The other thing, too, is we do have a rising homelessness situation.”

Citizens Advice Bureau service manager Audrey Fell-Smith said her team was handling three times the amount of requests for emergency housing advice compared to a year ago.

Her advice was if you have housing elsewhere, do not come to Wellington.

A recent call from a young woman living in a car with her child remind her of a scene reminiscent of those in Auckland, she said.

“The biggest issue are people who are too rich for social housing from the Ministry of Social Development, but too poor to afford the city’s horrendous rents.”

Jenny Rains, manager of the council’s social services team, said it was unclear exactly how many people in Wellington were homeless, but it was a “significant” problem.

“Those without shelter that have become more visible in our city,” she said.

“We are also aware of what appears to be an increasing number of people sleeping in cars and campervans, and we know of a number of boarding houses which are likely to be accommodating homeless people.”

Between June and December 2016, 157 people were referred to the Te Whakamura project, which works with street homeless and other vulnerable people.

Sean Murrie, managing director of Matrix Homes, said most property developers in Wellington had not turned their minds to affordable housing because of the hurdles involved in getting resource consents.

“By the time [developers] do everything, they tend to just want to maximise their returns, so it’s a matter of land supply. It’s been well documented that if more land was available, there could be more affordable housing.”

Eagle said the main problem was developers focusing on larger residential builds where there was the maximum profit, rather than creating housing for first-home buyers.

A lack of land, alongside a shortage of labour and slow consenting process, was also exasperating the problem, he said.

“That’s why we are intervening, because that cannot continue to happen.”

Alongside the council’s plan to build 750 new units, Eagle said it would utilise its powers to end land banking, petition central Government for new powers to free up land, allow for more housing intensification, and take a stronger stance on dictating the types of consents developers were granted.

“We’re not in a crisis like Auckland, but if we don’t do something … everything is pointing to us that we have to move,” Eagle said.

Read more here.

Recent articles

Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

2021/22 CHA Annual Report

Strategic Plan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

CHA’s 2022-2023 Strategic Workplan

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place Report 2017

Our Place Report 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

News

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 28, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter November...

Community Housing Aotearoa newsletter – November 14, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the latest staff news, Auckland's CHP network latest event, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, plus highlight a number of community and partner events. Community...

Community Housing Aotearoa Newsletter – October 31, 2022

Welcome to our latest newsletter. We cover the release of our Annual Report and our AGM, we seek feedback on our Conference topics, outline what submissions are currently being prepared, summarise the VUW Interns' work to produce CHRA Registration and Methamphetamine...

Submissions

CHA’s Submission on the Natural and Built Environment Bill

CHA has prepared a submission to the Environment Committee on the Spatial Planning Bill currently at the select committee stage at the time of writing. CHA has consistently advocated for Inclusionary Housing (IH) to be enabled through the RMA reforms. We discuss how...

CHA’s Submission on the Spatial Planning Bill

CHA has prepared a submission to the Environment Committee on the Spatial Planning Bill currently at the select committee stage at the time of writing. CHA has consistently advocated for Inclusionary Housing (IH) to be enabled through the RMA reforms. We discuss how...

CHA’s Submission on the Charities Amendment Bill

CHA submitted to the Social Services and Community Committee on the Charities Amendment Bill. We supported a robust and fully inclusive review be done through an independent body to address underlying issues that our sector faces and ensure lasting charities. The...

Legislation

Reports

CHA 2022 Annual Report and Audited Accounts

What a year for our Community Housing Aotearoa Ngā Wharerau o Aotearoa team. Our Annual Report highlights our service delivery, including: - 16 submissions to central and local government. - 30 trainings and events delivered on topics ranging from public health...

CHA’s Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

CHA has developed a Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook - with consultation from the NZ Drug Foundation - with advice for providers, tenants, and policy-makers. This resource can be read below: Methamphetamine Harm-Reduction Handbook

Research

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On