Domino Housing Crisis In Kāpiti Is ‘Awful,’Warns Councillor McCann

Kāpiti District councillors have been warned the housing crisis is ‘awful’ and getting worse, reports Jeremy Smith.

The suburban houses of Waikanae Beach

His report follows:

‘Councillor Rob McCann, who issued the warning. holds the KCDC housing portfolio.

McCann says perceptions indicate Kāpiti is wealthy but the Kainga Ora waiting list does not show this.

He says it shows the chronic underfunding in public housing. 

Cr Rob MCann

‘The domino effect of housing unaffordability is awful with people delaying trips to the doctor or paying bills and this would affect the next generation,” says McCann.

Cr McCann’s views were backed up by other councillors.

The red line on housing

Jeremy Sm,ith says a sloping red line on a graph gives a clear example of the background to Kāpiti’s housing affordability crisis- and suggests it will get worse.

The line shows the number of people living in their own homes in Kapiti went down by seven per cent between 1996 to 2018.

And the projection is that the percentage of owner/occupiers will continue to go down by a further six per cent by 2048.

These figures come from the KCDC through ‘Sense Partners’ and from Statistics New Zealand.

Drop in affordability

The report to district councillors says the figures reflect the strong growth of Kapiti house prices since 2018 and the drop in housing affordability.

Housing affordability is where people have to pay more than 30 per cent of their income in either rents or mortgage payments.

The figures show that in 2018 17,700 people in Kapiti lived in their own homes while 6000 – that’s about a third – rented.
But the projection is that in 2048 – just over 25 years away – more than 45 per cent of Kapiti people will be renters.

Ōtaki’s husing stress

In Ōtaki- defined as an area of higher housing stress – the number of Maori renting is almost the same as the number in their own homes. But for non- Māori in Ōtaki the balance is different:  renters are only about a third of those who are home owners.

Ōtaki councillor James Cootes “choked up” while reading the report. He noted the high level of deprivation in Otaki.
Cootes also referred to the loss of land by Ngati Haumia in Paekakariki in World War 2.  It was taken under the Public Works Act to build the Marine Camp and then used for Queen Elizabeth Park. The five generations involved had been saddled with a 75 year mortgage. 

43% of people on housing list are Māori

In Kāpiti overall, 43% of applicants on the housing register are Māori and 45% of emergency housing /special needs grants were made to Māori.
Home ownership is at 58% for Māori, compared to 78% for European descent.

Home ownership is “out the window” for many

Councillor Gwyn Compton says for many renters home ownership is “out the window.”

The Kapiti Coast Housing Needs assessment housing survey shows that 88 per cent of renters can not afford to buy at the entry level price of $698,000.

Compton says this unaffordability means “we have failed our housing contract.”

The Kapiti Housing Needs strategy- approved by the councillors -has four priorities:

A) Investigate ways to increase the supply of public housing. 

b) Improve the quality of existing public housing. 

c) Encourage take up of existing development capacity. 

d) Improve the availability of emergency and transitional housing.

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