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Every Story Counts – Housing Survey Helping To Build Strong Case For Change

Council is calling on the community to complete a housing survey as part of its work to assess the district’s current and emerging housing and social needs.

The quick and easy survey, which is anonymous, asks people to share their current housing circumstances and housing aspirations. The information gathered will be used to build a strong case for change.

Councillor Rob McCann, housing and social wellbeing portfolio holder, says that to have the greatest impact, Council needs as many people as possible to complete this survey.

“No matter your housing circumstance, we want to hear from you. Kāpiti is growing and so is the need for housing and greater support services. This survey, which is anonymous and confidential, will help us build a true picture of our district’s housing and social needs.

“A robust information base will support our ongoing discussions with Government and help Council, iwi partners, and other community organisations and stakeholders to take action so that everyone in our community can live well.

“You just have to jump on the Kāpiti Coast community Facebook pages to see evidence of the growing housing stress in our community. Council has prioritised housing in its new Long-term Plan, and this mahi will help to guide our housing programme.”

Donna Bridgeman, a local housing advocate who is currently homeless, says that it’s time for people to speak up, share their story and help make change happen.

“In the last three years I’ve had five moves and each time the situation got worse and worse. The rental prices kept going up until it finally got to the point where I could no longer afford to rent. Right now, I’m in social housing – there is nothing affordable or accessible out there for me. This is the harsh reality for many people in our community.

“I encourage people to take part in this survey. Greater action is needed to ensure all Kāpiti residents have access to housing and the support services they need.”

Cindy Foote, Jade Rentals Company Director, says she sees the impact of the housing stress in our district every day in her line of work.

“We manage over 400 rental properties across Kāpiti. At the moment, when we have a property become available, we typically have 30-40 people coming to a viewing. It’s hard to let people down, especially when you know there’s very little out there for them to rent.”

Lawrence Kirby, Managing Director Kāpiti Impact Trust, is also encouraging people to complete the survey.

"Every person's story counts - whether you're retired, managing a busy family, starting a business, studying, skating or looking for what's next - how you are living in Kāpiti is a vital part of the picture we need to paint about the realities of housing in our community."

Councillor Sophie Handford, climate and youth portfolio holder, says that the future of housing in Kāpiti needs to be created with the community.

“The future of housing in Kāpiti needs to be created in partnership with iwi, mana whenua and our diverse communities. We need to involve people of all ages – including our young people who are the future of district and who will inherit the Kāpiti we’re creating today.

“By taking this quick survey you’re already playing a part in creating this future.”

People can complete the survey online at haveyoursay.kapiticoast.govt.nz/housing or pick up a copy at their local library or Council service centre. The survey closes 5pm, Friday 10 December 2021.

Housing and social needs assessment

The housing survey is part of a wider housing and social needs assessment to determine the district’s housing and social requirements, examine their nature and causes, and set priorities for future action. A key action of Council’s Housing Programme, the assessment includes quantitative and qualitative research, and iwi-led research into the housing and social needs in their rohe (district).

Natasha Tod, Group Manager Strategy, Growth & Recovery, says addressing housing needs and housing stress requires a coordinated response across Kāpiti’s whole housing system. It also requires a shared vision of what success would look like for Kāpiti.

“This isn’t just Council figuring it out on our own. To address the gaps, we need to have a good understanding of what’s going on and a clear set of priorities.

“This is why we have partnered with iwi, why we’re including key providers in our housing conversations and why, as much as we can, we’re bringing together the various parts of our housing system.

“We need to get this right so that we are able to meet our district’s vision of a thriving environment, vibrant economy, and strong communities.

“While Council is leading this work the assessment will be a resource for the entire community as we work collaboratively to address the housing stress in Kāpiti.”

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