Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s address to Infrastructure New Zealand’s Building Nations Symposium last week made it very clear that the current governing coalition is very serious about fixing Auckland’s housing affordability crisis.But the conference also made a few other things clear. Solving the current mess will not be speedy. And maintaining housing affordability over the longer term requires changes to local governments’ incentives around facilitating growth.Twyford opened the conference with a strong moral case for restoring housing affordability. Read more
Housing affordability is an important issue to all New Zealanders and a pressing concern for many kiwi families. The high cost of housing is also one of the drivers of New Zealander’s high level of private indebtedness, and is an issue of intergenerational equality.
The Initiative’s research into housing affordability takes a different approach to the usual proposals of either just freeing up land and dropping regulations, or compelling a reluctant population to live in high density estates.
Instead our research focuses on the context in which development takes place: local government. In particular we examine the link between local government finance, and the incentives for local councils to develop land for housing.
There is a missing link between discussions of housing affordability (or rather a lack thereof) and finding workable financing management that allows local government to fund required infrastructure upgrades. By examining international best practice, we aim to close this gap with our research project.