Meeting the needs of population growth (on the one hand) and population decline (on the other) is a major challenge. This is made more complex by the changing profiles and needs of our communities over time. We need to address these needs and in doing so, ensure we retain or improve our quality of life.

Here’s an overview of some of the key projects we’re working on to meet the needs of our changing population.

Waikato Region Housing Initiative

Statistics for housing in Hamilton

Our key focus area here has been enabling housing choice (action 1.4 in the Waikato Plan document).

Right now, housing is a massive issue and doing nothing is not an option. That’s why we’ve made this a priority. 

Our immediate focus is:

  1. Bringing the housing sector together to promote well informed, comprehensive and collaborative discussions knowing this approach will lead to creative and eduring solutions (Waikato Region Housing Initiative Working Group). 
  2. A housing stocktake, because we can’t plan for an improvement in the housing situation if we don’t get the size and the scope of the problem right to begin with.
  3. Building a framework to deliver on the key challenges identified in the housing stocktake. The housing issue is not new and there is no single solution. We need to be smart about how we tackle the issue because if we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’re going to get the same result.

Waikato Region Housing Initiative Working Group

Our vision and purpose

Our vision is for every person and every family in the Waikato region to be well-housed.

We have included the UN rights to adequate housing entitlements in our definition for ‘well-housed’. ‘Well-housed’ means timely access to habitable, affordable, accessible, culturally appropriate, appropriately located, and with security of tenure housing.

The purpose of the Waikato Region Housing Initiative Working Group is to help facilitate the development of a region-wide housing stocktake, a framework to assist in developments, and responses required to close the gaps.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • We have completed a housing stocktake called the Waikato Region Housing Initiative - 2018 Housing Stocktake. The stocktake covers housing needs and availability across the whole housing spectrum, from owned or rented, to affordable, state, emergency and other social housing. We shared our findings with the Waikato Plan Leadership Committee.
  • Met with government and regional stakeholders to make sure those in positions of influence understand the scope of the problem and are prepared to help.
  • Created a matrix of information about which groups are doing what in the housing space and where. This is a working document that helps identify where gaps are in the housing market. If you’re working in the housing market and have information you think should be added to this matrix, please get in touch by emailing us at WaikatoPlan@waikatoregion.govt.nz

 

Information, affordability, and shortfalls

What’s next?

Our next steps are:

  • Release the Waikato Region housing initiative - 2018 housing stocktake publicly, to central government and community entities.
  • Have discussions with these groups to facilitate agreements and commitments to make positive changes for housing affordability and shortfalls within the Waikato Region.
  • To build a business case to develop a data platform so the information can be updated regularly in the report and made readily available to the public.

Available documents

Get in touch

The report is intended to form the basis of a shared resource for the region to promote discussion, collaboration on identifying housing strategies and activities to improve the housing situation. That’s why one of our key principles is to work together to work smarter. If you’d like to get in touch, if you have something to share, we’d love to hear from you.

Email: WaikatoPlan@waikatoregion.govt.nz