Affordable Housing in NZ? Where?!
The definition of an “affordable” home in Auckland for example, is a home that is less than 80% of the median Auckland house price of $875,000. This means buying a home, and often the first home for $700k, with a 10% deposit, your weekly mortgage alone is $876 per week. That is before rates and insurance, maintenance and oh, food, water, power, and the other frivolous things folks like to have.
This housing crisis has no consideration for the quality of the home you are living in. Is it warm, dry, healthy? Very rarely is the quality of the actual homes construction, the methods and materials being considered by buyers and developers of homes. Often they are spending money on bigger garages, granite benchtops, and glass balustrades. All of these extras are fine and dandy if you’ve spent the money first on the things that matter, like what your walls are made of and how much insulation and quality of construction you have.
If we changed the standard of homes to reach a 6-star we might add 5-8% to the initial building costs, but a 50-70% reduced energy running cost. And in modern homes, 32% of a home electricity cost is hot water heating alone. Government research has shown that if we lived in 6-star homes, Kiwis would have 180,000 fewer sick days off work per year, and that is not counting how much happier we would be at home.
As a nation, we often complain about how cold our homes are, and “the kids are sick again”, or “just put on another jumper” shouldn’t be heard. We need to make a change to the Building Code, and look at the design and building of our homes, and build smaller better homes we can afford and be happy in.
This is what OSA stands for, creating spaces for happier people. Get in touch if this resonates with you.