Wellington’s housing strategy and action plan

We want all Wellingtonians to be well housed, which means everyone living in safe, warm, dry homes that are affordable for them.

Blue background with white drawing of a house and an apartment building.

How we're increasing the city's housing supply

Lots of different actions will be needed to increase housing supply and address the gaps in Wellington and no single agency can achieve it all - so the Council will work with its partners in government and the community.

Our housing strategy sets out our approach and our plan. We have a role to play in every part of the housing continuum including temporary housing, short and long-term rental, and home ownership. We support a housing system that looks after our most vulnerable communities.

In March 2020 the Strategy and Policy Committee adopted our second Housing Action Plan. This plan covers the 2020-22 Council triennium and focuses Council efforts on five key programmes:

  • Planning for Growth – our city is growing. The District Plan is up for review. This programme will shape the way we live, for decades.
  • One-stop shop, consenting improvements – improving the ease and efficiency of the consenting processes
  • Our City Housing service – ensuring this service is financially sustainable into the future
  • Te Mahana & supporting Housing First – partnerships to end homelessness
  • Proactive development – working with others to facilitate development of a variety of housing options.

We can’t do this alone so the Action Plan is supported by partnerships – working together to ensure all Wellingtonians are well-housed.

Rates remission for first home builders

Supporting supply of housing in Wellington City, the Council has a rates remission policy to assist first home builders. You can find more on the rates remissions page, under First Home Builders.

Housing quality

Good quality housing is the foundation for ensuring that individuals, families and whānau can live well and achieve their aspirations. Through regulation, support, and guidance for new and existing buildings, we aim to see:

  • More homes that are safe, secure and resilient
  • More homes are warm, dry and energy efficient
  • More homes are environmentally sustainable

As a core outcome to the Housing Strategy, Council is working not only to increase supply but improve the quality of new and existing housing in Wellington, to see all Wellingtonians well-housed.

Healthy homes standards

In 2017 Wellington City Council, in partnership with the University of Otago, launched a Rental Warrant of Fitness programme in Wellington. The voluntary programme aimed to improve the standard of Wellington rental properties. 

Since the introduction of the Healthy Homes standards, the focus for Council has switched to supporting Tenancy Services to encourage and enforce compliance with the Healthy Homes standards. Healthy homes standards introduced specific minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties. 

Where the Rental Warrant of Fitness was voluntary, the healthy homes standards set a required minimum standard for all rental properties.  

For more on the Healthy Homes standards, see the tenancy services website.

Home energy assessment 

The Council funds free impartial home energy assessments; these assessments are carried out by the Sustainability Trust. The assessor will give your household an ‘action plan’ that is tailored and prioritised. This gives home owners easy access to information and resources to improve the quality of their homes, contributing to the vision of all Wellingtonians well-housed. 

To find out more, and enquire about getting your free home assessment visit the Sustainability Trust website.

Environmentally sustainable homes

For more information, grants and case studies to discover how to make your home more sustainable, see our sustainable homes page.

Key documents

The Wellington context

Housing in Wellington is becoming less affordable and there is growing pressure on the Wellington housing market. 

The city is growing – up to 30,000 new homes will be needed by 2043 – so we need to take action or the problem will get worse. 

Housing needs to be affordable if all Wellingtonians are to have safe, warm, dry homes that meet their needs.

What does affordability mean for people living in Wellington?

We’ve developed a model – the Wellington Housing Affordability Model (WHAM) that will help us understand what housing is affordable, and for whom.

WHAM is supplementary to other affordability measures. It allows the user to recognise that housing affordability means different things to different groups of people.

The WHAM takes account of household size, composition and income level – it’s not a ‘one size fits all’.

WHAM supports the strategy by helping Council understand the gaps in the housing market and make more informed decisions about housing in Wellington.

We’re currently working with central government to assess the potential of the model, including opportunities to improve and share the model with other councils and organisations.

How the WHAM will help

The WHAM will help us make better decisions about housing because we will know:

  • Who a particular rent or purchase price is affordable for
  • What is affordable for a particular population or group
  • How affordable a rental amount or purchase price is for a particular group (and by how much).

Need help?

Build Wellington is the team leading the Council’s Housing Strategy. Email housingdevelopment@wcc.govt.nz