The vision of the Joint Housing Action Plan is that everyone in Greater Christchurch has access to a healthy, warm, sustainable, affordable home.

In December 2023 the Greater Christchurch Partnership Committee endorsed the Joint Housing Action Plan and recommended the plan to Partner Councils for adoption. All Partner Councils fully adopted the Joint Housing Action plan in March 2024.

Joint Housing Action Plan presentation to GCPC 8 December 2023

The Plan was collectively developed by the GCP Partner organisations to tackle the shared issue of the shortage of housing and its rising unaffordability. There are solutions, but they require everyone to participate: this requires a comprehensive plan, strong leadership and collective effort. 


Improving affordability and meeting the needs of the changing population: tackling the housing problem

The GCP collectively is tackling NZ’s pervasive housing affordability crisis with the implementation of the joint Housing Action Plan. The Plan recognises that the adverse social and economic outcomes of insufficient, inappropriate, inadequate and unaffordable housing are apparent in Greater Christchurch; problems that can only be tackled collectively [1]. The GCP is using its combined levers and resources to improve the provision of quality, affordable housing in suitable locations and improved housing choice. Intervention in the market is needed, if a different and better outcome is to be achieved.

Figure 1: NZ's housing crisis

There is no single silver bullet: as the diagram below illustrates, housing unaffordability is a dynamic, interrelated issue requiring a collective approach. We are looking under every rock for solutions, and our partners – central government, local and regional government, and mana whenua – each have tools at their disposal that could help improve affordability and contribute to realising the aspirations of the Spatial Plan.

Figure 2: The dynamics of the housing continuum (with thanks to Annie Wilson, Kāinga Maha)

Specifically in Greater Christchurch there are four significant gaps in the market:

  • Emergency/transitional housing (in May 2024 there are 336 adults and 357 children in Greater Christchurch in emergency housing[2])
  • Social housing (in March 2024 there were 2500 households on the MSD waiting list in Christchurch City, 103 in Waimakariri and 78 in Selwyn[3])
  • Affordable housing – rentals and progressive home ownership (in March 2024 there were 26,382 people in CCC, 2,475 in SDC and 3,480 receiving the Accommodation Supplement[4])
  • Typologies that match the changing demographic demand: the supply-side predominance of 3-4 bedroom homes contributes the under-utilisation of housing; while in Christchurch, smaller houses are being built but at a price well above the affordability threshold for low- and modest-income households[5].

The status quo is leading to rising housing unaffordability. This is compounded by the unregulated market for short-term rentals. It is further compounded by unprecedented migration, which also fuels rental inflation.

[1] link)

[2] link)

[3] link)

[4] Monthly Reporting - Ministry of Social Development ( link)

[5] Foy, R. (2023), Social Impacts of Housing Intensification: Research Review (CCC, 2023: 29).

Since the Plan was adopted by partner Councils early 2024, work has been progressing on the 8 interconnected workstreams of Phase 1 in parallel.

Phase 1 Actions


Identify publicly-owned sites appropriate for affordable housing development and determine what is required to enable development.


Identify mechanisms to enable development of affordable housing on public land.


Investigate collective inclusionary zoning across all three TAs to increase the supply of social and affordable rental housing.


Investigate incentivises to encourage development of affordable rental housing.


Investigate expanding development contribution rebates to all councils, and including social, affordable rental and progressive home ownership.


Support nationwide advocacy to enable innovative approaches such as build-to-rent development.


Investigate expanding the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust model.


Develop a monitoring and implementation framework to track progress.

Further updates will be provided once the plan is further developed. Review the Joint Housing Action Plan for more detail on why we need the plan, the scale of the problem and more information about Phase 1 and 2 that outline future actions.