Healthy and affordable housing
Housing underpins many elements that can affect a person's wellbeing and continues to be a major focus for the Government in Budget 2021. Affordability of housing, the state of our housing stock and security and cost of tenure can all influence a person’s physical and mental health. Strategic investments in the housing sector will also support the COVID-19 recovery, by creating construction jobs and laying the foundations for a more sustainable housing market.
Through this Wellbeing Budget, we are investing to help ensure that every New Zealander has a warm, safe and dry home. This funding aims to lay the foundations for long-term strategic solutions to the housing crisis, while also addressing specific areas of immediate concern. Budget 2021 housing investments include:
- the $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, funded from the CRRF, which will increase the supply of houses by funding the necessary services and infrastructure that currently pose barriers to development. Accelerating the pace and scale of construction will increase the supply of houses available and further longer-term progress towards a housing market that is accessible to all
- $380 million for Māori housing solutions, including building new houses in areas with high rates of Māori housing deprivation, repairs for existing housing and increasing capacity and capability for iwi, hapū and other Māori housing providers.
Alongside broader work on supply and affordability across the housing market, the Government is focused on ensuring that renters have access to homes that are warm, dry and safe. Budget 2021 complements significant legislative achievements by providing funding to support the implementation of changes to healthy homes standards and Residential Tenancy Act Amendments 2020. This includes:
- $16 million for proactive investigation and enforcement of the Healthy Homes Standards with the aim of preventing childhood hospitalisations, raising the standards of rental homes, and supporting the most vulnerable tenants.
- $41 million to maintain critical tenancy services, including timely access to dispute resolution services and processing of bond transactions, successful implementation of tenancy reforms, and proactive monitoring and investigation of rentals to reduce the risk of vulnerable tenants being exposed to harm.
- $18 million operating and $20 million capital funding to ensure that the IT system used to facilitate residential tenancy bond transactions is stable, secure, and supported. The system replacement will deliver much needed service improvements, improve data quality, and support outcomes across the wider residential tenancy regulatory system.
- $5 million to support the Tenancy Tribunal to manage increasing demand arising from the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2020.