Most parties now call the shortage of housing a crisis. The Kiwibuild programme failed to produce as many many new homes as promised, but the government made progress building new state houses, and recent changes for renters make it harder for landlords to evict tenants. Opposition parties say resource management laws are a key problem and that freeing up developers will make housing affordable buyers and renters.
Social and public housing
The government has been building state houses in what it claims is the biggest government house building programme in decades. Opposition parties say this approach is too government-led, and that the government has missed opportunities to partner with private organisations to provide social housing.
Consensus has emerged that there is a shortage of affordable housing. New policy this last term included Kiwibuild, turning Housing NZ into Kainga Ora and tasking the entity with building state and affordable housing, and most recently the progressive home ownership scheme. Nearly all parties agree that the Resource Management Act is a barrier to affordable housing development.
The current government increased quality standards for rental properties, requiring insulation and basic heating. But it's still the case that many homes in New Zealand aren’t properly insulated. Cold and damp housing is a major cause of illness, especially in winter and among young children.
The current government increased quality standards for rental properties and made tenancies more secure, limiting the situations in which a landlord can evict tenants. But rents remain high as incomes are under increasing pressure from the Covid-19 crisis.