housing costs

PHOTO: Labour and National unite to help solve housing crisis by forcing councils to build up. Credits: Video – Newshub; Image – Getty Images.

The significant proportion of Kiwis’ income that goes towards their housing costs is affecting their wellbeing, a new report states.

The Spotlight on Housing report by Te Tapeke Fair Future panel, convened by Royal Society Te Apārangi, examines how the housing crisis has contributed to inequality, taking aim at the housing shortage, the increasing number of people renting and strains on public housing.

“Differences in housing are a huge part of inequity in Aotearoa New Zealand,” panel member Distinguished Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman said. “But the wide-reaching impact on our society also means that if we solve the housing issue, we all benefit, not just those struggling to find decent housing.”

The report finds that in 2019, nearly a third of Kiwi households spent 30 percent of their income on housing costs with a quarter of renters spending 40 percent or more.

“This level of expenditure on housing affects wellbeing – cutting into budgets for food and other necessities like electricity and heating. By international comparisons, New Zealand households in the bottom fifth of incomes are severely overburdened by housing costs. Affordability is rated worst by single parents and disabled people.”

With home ownership rates dropping – down from 74 percent in the 1990s to 65 percent in 2018 – the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.


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