Fresh thinking on filling the affordable housing gap

Although Aotearoa has a dire lack of state housing, there is also a growing hole in the middle too. The Urban Advisory’s (TUA) report on scaling up affordable housing came out this month; and it had some interesting ideas about how to fill the gaps.

Graphic depicting all the types of housing between standalone and apartments and how we don't build them


To plug this hole, they have suggested a few new models of doing housing. The first one is cooperatives. These are marketed as “the third way” not owning, not renting, but its own thing. Residents own a share in the co-op which gives them a say in the direction of the co-op as well as exclusive access to their home. One of the big benefits is the up-skilling opportunity it provides residents. They get to develop their social, financial, operational, administrative, leadership and job-seeking skills while getting the buzz of autonomy and participating in governance. This has been shown to aid in residents’ education and careers. This is particularly fun as cooperatives tend to house low to middle income residents who may be at a disadvantage in this area

Community Land Trusts

Another current housing issue is many people being pushed out of their lower income neighbourhoods to make way for even more unaffordable housing, just what we need! Fortunately TUA presents a solution that has been used to solve this problem since the civil rights movement in the 60’s. Community Land Trusts, CLTs. The land is owned by a trust, so buyers only have to pay for the house itself, and the resale profit is limited by the CLT, resulting in perpetually affordable housing, not just for one generation. This will remain the case even if the area around the land held by the trust is gentrified.

The report also provides recommendations on what policy and other changes would be needed to allow more diverse housing ownership/occupation models. It’s definitely worth a read, so check it out here.

Image Credits:

Peterborough Housing Cooperative Website
Missing Middle Housing Website

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