More houses for Auckland

The Minister for Social Housing, Amy Adams, has announced that Housing New Zealand will build 34,000 houses in Auckland in the next 10 years. The government owns about 5% of residential land which will be used for these houses. About 8,000 old houses owned by Housing New Zealand will be demolished first to make way for new houses.

New Zealand has a history of supplying what were called state houses for families. The earliest ones were more than 100 years ago in an effort to get rid of slums. Governments in the 1930s and 1940s built about 70,000 state houses in suburbs throughout New Zealand. You can see many of these still in use today. They were well built, usually of timber, although not insulated. Three-bedroom homes were quite small, about 98 square metres, but the section sizes were large, around 1,000 square metres. This was to allow families to plant vegetables and perhaps own a few animals.

However, times have changed. Many families now longer want a lot of land. There is also a need for more houses, especially in Auckland. Amy Adams said that when one old state house is demolished it will be replaced by three modern houses. Auckland’s Unitary Plan has allowed more dense housing.

About 20% of the new houses will cost $650,000 which Amy Adams labelled “affordable”. Another 13,540 will be social housing, available for families on low incomes to rent.

It will take 10 years to build all these houses, partly because there are not enough construction workers. Also, some houses will need to be sold first to provide money for newer ones.

Young people wanting to buy a new house may not agree that $650,00 is affordable.


• Housing New Zealand – a government agency responsible for social housing
• demolished – pushed over by a bulldozer
• make way for – replace
• state houses – houses owned by the government and rented to families on low incomes; now called social housing
• slums – very poor houses in city areas
• suburbs – not inner city areas
• insulated – lined with material which keeps the house warm in winter
• affordable – the amount that a young working couple could afford to buy
• dense housing – close together

Leave a Reply