Access to safe and healthy accommodation is one of the most
basic human needs. Where warm, dry, housing is
unavailable or unaffordable, people are more likely to experience
poor health. Home ownership can also contribute to positive
economic and social outcomes for individuals and communities. Home
ownership serves as an investment vehicle, with anticipated growth
of equity over time, and high home ownership rates are associated
with better neighbourhood connections.
In 2006, 54.7% of Christchurch dwellings were owned by the usual
residents, slightly higher than the national average of
51.2%. The number of households able to afford a house at
lower quartile house prices declined between 1991 and 2001.
Housing is considered affordable when no more than 30% of gross
household income is spent on housing costs (including rent,
mortgage, rates and building insurance). Lower income
households are more likely to be living in rental accommodation,
and in the year ending June 2010, one third of renting households
were in accommodation defined as unaffordable. Rented
accommodation is also less likely to meet current standards for
insulation or weather-tightness, and lower-income households
struggle to heat these dwellings effectively, leading to dampness
and mould which can trigger or exacerbate respiratory conditions,
Māori and Pacific families are disproportionately affected, and
as a consequence are most likely to live in inadequate,
overcrowded, and unhealthy housing.
Read the full issue summary on affordable
housing [PDF] - updated April 2013.