Social service manager
[The] emergency accommodation shortage is the most important issue. There is a lack of accommodation in times of emergency, when cost is a factor, or when landlords are being biased. It’s also very difficult if family has a historical record of poor debt repayment.
Team manager – social service provider
The high cost of living in Tauranga makes it very hard for families to survive, forcing both parents to work.
General manager, community foundation
Increasingly we see people with housing related stress. It particularly affects those with special needs, those with disabilities, or on very low incomes.
The social context
Most social service providers identify housing as a major source of stress for many Tauranga families.
The cost of housing in Tauranga is high. In March 2006, the average house price was $393,161. However, with the average local income considerably lower than the national average, there is a clear mismatch between local house prices and incomes.
In 2001, when the average Tauranga income was $33,700 and the average house price was $158,000, Tauranga was ranked fourth in a list of local authorities with the highest house price-to-income ratio in the country4. Only Queenstown Lakes, Thames Coromandel and Auckland City were higher. As inflation has not affected incomes in the same way as it has affected house prices, it is highly likely Tauranga’s affordability ratio in 2006 will be even higher – further fuelling housing-related stress for local families.
4Can Work, Can’t Buy – Local Measures of the Ability of Working Households to Become Home Owners in New Zealand, 2004.