(07) Recommendation: Housing affordability

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Summary of Recommendations: Housing affordability

The Commission recommends that the Government:

  • ensure provision of adequate housing including social housing, for people in need and particularly for vulnerable groups
  • develop, if possible by cross-party accord, a national housing plan addressing the rights of people in New Zealand to adequate housing and prioritising the needs of vulnerable people in all tenure types, and which is reported on annually to Parliament
  • embed a human rights approach in all major initiatives related to the Canterbury earthquake recovery ensuring appropriate consideration of the adequacy of housing, including for temporary housing
  • review and report on the way affordable housing is funded through the regulations and benefits system
  • co-ordinate, through a single lead agency focal point, the monitoring of housing supply and demand in the greater Christchurch region for urgent short-term needs
  • in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council and other relevant agencies, collect statistics on enquiries to social housing providers from people who do not meet the criteria for social housing in order to accurately assess unmet needs
  • ensure the draft Land Use Recovery Plan as notified in July 2013 facilitates planning and regulation incentives to support adequate housing to the maximum extent possible
  • consider whether guidelines for rent control measures in the immediate aftermath of large-scale natural disasters should be developed and introduced
  • provide more access to temporary housing in the greater Christchurch area to meet urgent short-term need, including progressing the urgent provision of supported housing for young people

The Commission recommends:

  • that the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) consider and report on the appropriateness of increasing the Accommodation Supplement for Christchurch to be commensurate with Auckland and Wellington
  • that the MSD review and report on the eligibility criteria for Temporary Accommodation Allowance, including considering whether imposing an income threshold is necessary
  • that the Christchurch City Council review and update its Social Housing Strategy for vulnerable people to reflect the lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquake.

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