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

Many different actions will be needed to increase the 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 central government and the community.

We have a role 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.

The Wellington City Council Housing Strategy was adopted in June 2018, setting the housing outcomes and vision for the next ten years. The strategy has a long-term focus, and the Housing Action Plans set the short to medium-term priorities and tangible actions to deliver on that strategy.

In June 2023, the Environment and Infrastructure Committee adopted our third Housing Action Plan. This plan covers the 2023-25 Council triennium and focuses Council efforts on seven key programmes.

  • Planning for Growth – as the District Plan undergoes review, central government is concurrently reforming the resource management system. These changes will enable development and improve housing capacity, supply and affordability.
  • Consenting and Compliance Improvements – supporting housing supply growth by streamlining consent processes. It builds on One Stop Shop enhancements, improving the ease and efficiency of the consenting process.
  • Mana Whenua and Māori Housing - support whānau Māori achieving housing security, with a focus on increasing Māori home ownership and long-term rentals.
  • Homelessness – collaborating with partners to address homelessness in Wellington through strategic and operational efforts involving mana whenua, government and NGOs.
  • Social and Public Housing - a new operating arrangement with Te Toi Mahana, a community housing provider. While retaining ownership of most housing assets, the Council leases them to Te Toi Mahana to offer social housing and services to those in need.
  • Affordable Housing - being prepared and open to maximising opportunities for greater provision of affordable housing supply.
  • Rental Housing – introducing key enhancements for better rental home quality and improving renters’ rights in Wellington.

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.

Te Kāinga affordable rental programme

Supporting rental housing supply in Wellington City, Te Kāinga is a partnership between the Council and private building owners to provide quality, family-friendly, long-term rental housing to workers in Wellington.

For more information about the project, see our Te Kāinga project page.

For more information about current listings, visit the Te Kāinga website.

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

The healthy homes standards were introduced in 2019 by central government, setting the required minimum standards for all rental properties, including heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage, and draught stopping.

As part of the Housing Action Plan 2023 –2025, the Council will pilot a rental inspection service in partnership with central government to improve the quality of rental homes in Wellington.

The inspection service will see the Council's Public Health Team support the Tenancy Services Compliance and Investigations Team at the Ministry of Innovation and Employment, encouraging and enforcing compliance with healthy homes standards.

For more on the Healthy Homes standards, see the tenancy services website. More information on the pilot rental inspection service will be available soon.

Home energy assessment

The Council funds free impartial home energy assessments; the Sustainability Trust carries out these assessments. The assessor will give your household an 'action plan' tailored and prioritised, offering homeowners and renters easy access to information and resources to improve the quality of their homes, contributing to the vision of all Wellingtonians well-housed.

To learn 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

What does affordability mean for people living in Wellington?

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 must take action, or the problem will worsen. Housing needs to be affordable if all Wellingtonians are to have safe, warm, dry homes that meet their needs.

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 model's potential, 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?

Housing Development is the team leading the Council's Housing Strategy. Email housingdevelopment@wcc.govt.nz