Building new homes isn't the only solution to New Zealand's housing and accommodation crisis.
Census 2018 found that around 95,000 homes were empty nationwide. That's one in every 20 homes.
The Empty Homes project sought to answer the question: Is there potential, perhaps, for empty homes to be better utilised?
During 2021 and early 2022, the Empty Homes project worked to:
- understand more about empty homes in New Zealand, and
- identify what potential solutions or support could make a difference to reintroducing empty homes to the housing supply.
The Empty Homes project was conducted in a complex and difficult COVID environment. Yet, it achieved some significant outcomes. The project delivered:
- A New Zealand-wide empty homes survey and findings
- Greater understanding of the barriers to find suitable empty homes for housing market renewal and the support and solutions needed to bring empty homes back in to the housing supply, within the New Zealand context
- Data, findings, insights and evidence to inform future housing policy
- Five empty homes returned to the housing supply as a result of the project. This benefited the property owners, tenants and their whānau, neighbours, and local communities. Additionally, one home was averted from becoming empty during the project period.
- A comprehensive Empty Homes Report and Starter Kit to guide any areas and parties interested in implementing an empty homes project in New Zealand.