Chapter

The New Zealand experience of housing allowances

David C. Thorns

in Housing allowances in comparative perspective

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302506 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347541.003.0003
The New Zealand experience of housing allowances

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This chapter examines the last 20 years of debate and change with respect to the role of housing allowances within New Zealand's housing policy. The country is still predominantly a home-owning society, which the new National Housing Strategy being strongly endorsed. However, over the period under review a major reshaping was undertaken that privileged housing allowances as the form of state assistance to address problems of affordability for beneficiary and low-income households. The results were mixed. More were in receipt of such allowances after changes made in the 1990s, but housing-related poverty also increased during the 1990s, suggesting that the level of allowances and their take-up were inadequate on their own to address income deficiencies and supply problems. Some improvements have occurred since 1999 and the return to income-related rents has reduced the impact of housing on poverty.

Keywords: housing assistance; housing policy; National Housing Strategy; poverty; New Zealand

Chapter.  9849 words. 

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