Housing Inequality in Auckland, New Zealand

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Contents

Introduction

The Auckland Region is the most significant region of New Zealand in terms of population, the number of dwellings and contribution to New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Census data from 2006 shows that 1,303,068 people usually lived in the region, which is 32.4 percent of New Zealand's total population. As well as being home to almost a third of New Zealanders, the dwellings in the Auckland Region accounts for 28.8 percent of the total dwellings (occupied and unoccupied) in New Zealand<ref>Statistics New Zealand (2006) online: QuickStats About Auckland Region, http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage/QuickStats/AboutAPlace/SnapShot.aspx?tab=PopulationDwellings&id=1000002 (accessed 01 October 2013</ref>. In 2010, Auckland’s contribution to national GDP was to 35.0 percent, a full 11.2 percentage points more than the next highest contributing region<ref>Statistics New Zealand (2013) online: Regional Gross Domestic Product: Year ended March 2007-10 http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/NationalAccounts/RegionalGDP_MRYeMar0710.aspx (accessed 01 October 2013)</ref>. Even though the Auckland Region is the most significant region of New Zealand in these aspects, it faces several problems including housing inequality and unaffordable housing. The Auckland Council has acknowledged that Auckland faces a housing crisis because of four factors;a persistent under-supply of housing to meet demand,a lack of housing choice,poor-quality, unhealthy and overcrowded housing, and declining affordability and home ownership<ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Auckland’s Housing http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-housing/ (accessed 02 October 2013)</ref>.
Map 1:Auckland Districts<ref>Statistics New Zealand (2006) online: Boundary Map of Auckland Region. http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2006CensusHomePage/Boundary/BoundaryMap.aspx?id=1000002&type=region&ParentID= (accessed 20 September 2013)</ref>


Housing inequality is occurring globally and throughout New Zealand. It proves to be a highly important issue, and occurring due to the social class gap widening<ref>Hartwell, H. (2009) ‘Health Inequalities- fair inequality? Perspectives in Public Health’, Royal Society for Public Health, 129(5), 198</ref>. Inequality is caused from the influence of a variety of factors. Housing inequality reflects income level; a trend has occurred where the rich get richer and the poor remain poor because poorer peoples job opportunities are often limited due to factors such as education. This leads to lower income earners becoming reliant on government subsidies and rental or state owned properties because they cannot afford their own<ref>Bullen, C., Kearns, R.A., Clinton, J., Laing, P., Mahoney, F., McDuff, I. (2008) ‘Bringing health home: Householder and provider perspectives on he healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand: Social Science and Medicine, Science Direct, 66(5), 1185-1196</ref>. Housing inequality results in poor living conditions related to heating and dampness. This hugely affects the health of those living in unfortunate environments, and causes several health problems. Standards for housing vary globally with third world countries having cases of extremely poor housing, and New Zealand housing being recognised internationally as cold<ref>Sohler, N., Arno, P., Chang, C.J., Fang, J. (2002) ‘Income Inequality and Infant Mortality: Is there an Association within New York City?’, Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 79(4), The New York Academy of Medicine: New York</ref>. In many cases the housing supply does not meet the demand which results in poor housing trends such as overcrowded, high-density areas, poor sanitation, and cold damp homes. Auckland is a case which has significantly high levels of inequality. The high population in the super city results in increased levels of inequality. The many different suburbs causes the segregation of classes because the housing prices are scaled for one type; this causes limited interaction between class<ref>Carrol, P., Witten, K. & Kearns, R. (2011) ‘Housing Intensification in Auckland, New Zealand: Implications for Children and Families’, Housing Studies, 26(3), 353-367</ref>. Auckland city became unequal by 2006 partially due to technological changes within the workforce, putting those less educated out of a job or in low paid jobs. By 2012 the city was named the most unaffordable city in New Zealand<ref>Statistics New Zealand (2013) online: Rental Affordability 1998-2012): Regional Distributions. www.stats.govt.nz (accessed 26 September 2013)</ref>. Auckland's highest levels of inequality can be seen among a high percentage of Maori and Pacific Island. This correlates to the level of education because children attend the school within there zone, related to the area they live in. Therefore, due to segregation of classes, low income zones attend low decile schools and high income zones attend high decile schools<ref>Ministry of Education (2009) online: How the decile is calculated.http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/OperationalFunding/Deciles/HowTheDecileIsCalculated.aspx (accessed 21 September 2013)</ref>. This causes a cycle of low income associated with poor education throughout generations. Auckland also shows a trend of overcrowding among poor housing which is associated with Maori and Pacific Island ethnicities<ref>Bullen, C., Kearns, R.A., Clinton, J., Laing, P., Mahoney, F., McDuff, I. (2008) ‘Bringing health home: Householder and provider perspectives on he healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand: Social Science and Medicine, Science Direct, 66(5), 1185-1196</ref>. The Canadian National Occupancy Standard measures this and indicates the effect of this is relation to health issues is large<ref>Baker, M., Mcnicholas, A., Garrett, N., Jones, N., Stewart, J., Koberstein, V., Lennon, D. (2000) ‘Household crowding a major risk factor for epidemic meningococcal disease in Auckland children’, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 19: 983-90</ref>. Auckland City Council have implemented a number of programs in attempt to reduce inequality and the affect it has on poorer families. The Warm Up New Zealand program has been in Auckland to help insulate houses and help to give extra benefits to those in poorer districts. A Healthy Housing program has also been implemented throughout New Zealand to help improve living conditions<ref>Bullen, C., Kearns, R.A., Clinton, J., Laing, P., Mahoney, F., McDuff, I. (2008) ‘Bringing health home: Householder and provider perspectives on he healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand: Social Science and Medicine, Science Direct, 66(5), 1185-1196</ref><ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Supported Home Insulation Options http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/homeimprovementprojects/Pages/homeinsulation.aspx#nz(accessed 23 September 2013)</ref>.

History of Environmental Problems and Associated Literature

Housing intensification in the Auckland Region has accelerated over the past decade<ref>Carrol, P., Witten, K. & Kearns, R. (2011) ‘Housing Intensification in Auckland, New Zealand: Implications for Children and Families’, Housing Studies, 26(3), 353-367</ref>, and this intensification has implications for families in the area. It is becoming more expensive to access accommodation in Auckland, and rising house prices in the area tend to exacerbate levels of inequality between social class groups. Those who cannot afford certain types of housing have to settle for what is within their means, and this can result in families from lower socio-economic groups having to reside in lower quality accommodation<ref>Bullen, C., Kearns, R., Clinton, J., Laing, P., Mahoney, F. & McDuff, I. (2008) ‘Bringing health home: Householder and provider perspectives on the healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand’, Social Science and Medicine, 66, 1185-1196</ref>. A shortage of affordable housing generally leads to household crowding, which often leads to health problems<ref>Baker, M. & Howden-Chapman, P. (2012) ‘Time to Invest in Better Housing in for New Zealand Children’, The New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1367), 6-10</ref>. The link between housing type and inequalities in health and other social factors is the focus of this research. This issue has been recognized internationally, that those living in lower quality housing (cold, damp , crowded or otherwise unhealthy housing environments) are more likely to suffer certain health problems than those living in adequate housing conditions<ref>Trenholme, A., Vogel, A., Lennon, D., McBride, C., Stewart, J., Best, E., Mason, H., Percival, T. (2012) ‘Household characteristics of children under 2 years admitted with lower respiratory tract infection in Counties Manakau, South Auckland’, The New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1367), 15-23</ref>.

Several authors have commented on the shortage of affordable housing in Auckland, New Zealand and how this impacts health for certain groups of people<ref>Howden-Chapman, P. & Chapman, R. (2012) ‘Health Co-Benefits from Housing Related Policies’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4, 414-19</ref><ref>Baker, M. & Howden-Chapman, P. (2012) ‘Time to Invest in Better Housing in for New Zealand Children’, The New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1367), 6-10</ref><ref>Carrol, P., Witten, K. & Kearns, R. (2011) ‘Housing Intensification in Auckland, New Zealand: Implications for Children and Families’, Housing Studies, 26(3), 353-367</ref>. Increased competition for housing in Auckland has led to household crowding for many families, which is significantly linked to certain health problems, especially respiratory diseases<ref>Howden-Chapman, P., Viggers, H., Chapman, R., O’Sullivan, K., Telfar-Barnard, L. & Lloyd, B. (2012) ‘Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts’, Energy Policy, 49, 134-142</ref>. Housing in lower socio-economic areas is where most of the inadequate housing is located. There is a clear inequality in housing in Auckland, as in most cities in the world. That is, many people live in housing that is more than adequate for their basic needs, while many people live in conditions that may harm their health and wellbeing. Crowding, lack of heating and dampness are three of the main problems cited in the literature that affect resident’s health. The associated health problems of poor housing conditions is more prevalent amongst people from lower socio economic groups. One study<ref>Trenholme, A., Vogel, A., Lennon, D., McBride, C., Stewart, J., Best, E., Mason, H., Percival, T. (2012) ‘Household characteristics of children under 2 years admitted with lower respiratory tract infection in Counties Manakau, South Auckland’, The New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1367), 15-23</ref> found that 25% of children living in Counties Manakau (a lower socio-economic area of Auckland) admitted to hospital in 2007 with respiratory tract infections lived in crowded homes. There is a growing recognition in the literature of the link between poor housing conditions and health problems in the Auckland context.


This issue is has been acknowledged globally, Auckland is not the only city facing the problem of housing conditions and health. Howden-Chapman and Chapman (2012)<ref>Howden-Chapman, P. & Chapman, R. (2012) ‘Health Co-Benefits from Housing Related Policies’, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4, 414-19</ref> discuss examples from the USA and the UK, highlighting the global nature of this environmental issue. Both countries have state interventions in place to improve housing conditions, especially improving home heating. While research by Sheuya et al (2007)<ref>Sheuya, S., Howden-Chapman, P. & Patel, S. (2007) ‘The Design of Housing and Shelter Programs: The Social and Environmental Determinants of Inequalities’, Journal of Urban Health, 84(1), 98-108</ref> showed how poor housing conditions in Tanzania and India were linked to health problems for residents. The research also found that programs were in place to try and improve housing conditions for people living in inadequate dwellings. A common theme in the literature is that programs, especially state interventions, that are targeted at improving housing conditions are a valuable and necessary approach to this issue.


The importance of this issue should not be underestimated. Auckland is growing faster than any other New Zealand city, and the resultant shortage of housing can lead to crowding and more people living in poor conditions. Several authors have highlighted the importance of addressing this issue, either through community-based support groups or state intervention programs. This issue is significant because it affects many people in the Auckland area and with the ongoing growth of the city, this problem has the potential to get worse. The gap between socio-economic groups could widen from the problems that poor housing conditions can cause, and it is important that this is addressed.

State of the Environment

The Issue of Housing Inequality (Environmental Pressures)

The issue of housing inequality in Auckland City is one of significance. Housing inequality is especially visible in Auckland, in comparison to other place around New Zealand, due to the large amount of people dwelling there, as well as the variety of suburbs it is made up of. Auckland is a super city composed of six separate cities, made up of over 200 suburbs. Each of these suburbs can be classified as bottom, lower middle, middle, upper middle and top class <ref>inSuburbia Ltd (2007) online: Auckland Suburb Guide. http://www.auckland-suburb-guide.co.nz/ (accessed 18 September 2013)</ref>. The ability to classify suburbs, often synonymous with housing standards, so easily reflects the rigid housing inequality present in this area. Inequality in any form is caused by a variety of factors which often act in a chain formation, one factor resulting from and causing the other.

Housing inequality is highly correlated to income level, which is in turn linked to job type. Individuals with a lower status job usually earn less income and rely more on government subsidies. People who do not earn enough to save for a house of their own are forced to rely on rental properties or state housing alternatives. There is evidence that the correlation between job type and home ownership is not as prominent for the young and old, and instead significantly affects those of middle age. This is because the young often relocate due to differing opportunities, study locations or job offers. Individuals of this age are not looking for a permanent home and have little issue with paying less for a poorer quality dwelling. Elderly citizens, on the other hand, are usually unemployed but have stable resources they collected through out their working years <ref>Green, R.K., Hendershott, P.H. (2001) ‘Home-ownership and Unemployment in the US’, Urban Studies 38:9, pp1509-1520</ref>.

Suburbs with housing present of only one particular type can result in segregated neighbourhood and schools. Individuals are unlikely to come into contact in day to day life with members of a different class type, resulting in an inability to have a fully formed social awareness and sense of empathy. There has been a variety of research in European countries which support the idea that in order to build more cohesive communities, spatial unevenness needs to be addressed <ref>Cassiers, T., Kesteloot, C. (2012) ‘Socio-Spatial Inequalities and Social Cohesion in European Cities’, Urban Studies 49:9, pp1909-1924</ref>. Lack of cohesion within a place negatively affects the social environment in such an area, fostering exclusion, competition and distrust.

Poorer quality houses are usually defined as being older and less maintained than houses of a higher or adequate quality. Issues with poor quality houses include lower levels of heating and insulation, higher levels of mould and dust as well as potentially termite ridden walls and floors. All of these factors can result in complicating health issues which further expand the gap between the rich and the poor. There is a large amount of research which has been conducted internationally which examines the correlation between housing standards and poor health. One such paper published demonstrates the link between damp public sector housing in East London and the resulting health effects on their tenants. The results supported the idea that damp housing does cause ill health effects, and the dampness arose form poor heating and insulation rather than the lifestyles of the tenants <ref>Hyndman, S.J. (1990) ‘Housing dampness and health among British Bengalis in East London’, Social Science & Medicine 30:1, pp131-141</ref>.

Those in poor health experience inequality through less job opportunities or a higher chance of unemployment due to more sick days. Furthermore, health correlates highly with enjoyment of life, which is another indicator of equality. The World Health Organisation Quality of Life Assessment proposes that in order to accurately identify an individuals health, quality of life needs to be taken into consideration. A complete health assessment would include a measure of an individual’s health, a measure of physical, social and psychological functioning as well as a measure of quality of life <ref>The WHOQOL GROUP (1998) ‘The World Health Organisation Quality of Life Assessment: Development and General Psychometric Properties’, Social Science & Medicine 46:12, pp 1569-1585</ref>. These components combine to create a holistic definition of health. Poor housing can result in poor health and a reduced physical, social and psychological functioning due to depressing or unsafe surroundings.


State (Environmental Indicators)

As previously stated, high income usually correlates with a high quality dwelling and the opposite is true for those who earn a lower income. In 2006, the areas in Auckland with the highest income levels were Auckland City, coastal areas of North Shore City as well as northern parts of Manakau City and rural areas of Auckland City. The areas of lowest income were Manakau City and parts of the Papakura district. In 2006, the income gap between the income of the wealthiest areas was 50% more than those the income of those in the poorest areas. This is 20% higher than fifteen years ago which indicates that income inequality is increasing in Auckland <ref>Statistics New Zealand (2009) online: Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas/mapping-trends-in-the-auckland-region/income.aspx#Notes (accessed 20 September 2013)</ref>.

Map 2: Median Income of Employed People in the Auckland Region<ref>Statistics New Zealand (2009) online: Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas/mapping-trends-in-the-auckland-region/income.aspx#Notes (accessed 20 September 2013)</ref>
In 2012, Auckland was found to be the most unaffordable region in New Zealand. On average, a household in Auckland will use 35% of their total income on rent.
Figure 1: Number of households in Auckland spending 30+ percent of gross income on housing costs by income bracket and tenure 2009-10<ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Auckland’s Housing http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-housing/ (accessed 02 October 2013)</ref>
Auckland also has the highest proportion of rental properties in New Zealand, due to the increasing difficulty to purchase a house. Over one third of Auckland’s inhabitants live in rental properties, the highest proportion of any region in New Zealand <ref>Statistics New Zealand (2013) online: Rental Affordability 1998-2012): Regional Distributions. www.stats.govt.nz (accessed 20 September 2013)</ref>.

Housing inequality can lead to segregation of neighbourhoods and decreased opportunities for social interactions. The school zoning system in New Zealand requires students to attend schools in close proximity of their homes. New Zealand also has a decile system in place, each school is given a decile from 1-10 which is calculated using the mean socio-economic status of the surrounding neighbourhood <ref>Ministry of Education (2009) online: How the decile is calculated. http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/OperationalFunding/Deciles/HowTheDecileIsCalculated.aspx (accessed 21 September 2013)</ref>. The lower the decile, the more government funding the school receives. This often results in students from families of low income, living in poorer quality houses in a lower socio-economic neighbourhood, attending schools of a lower decile. The opposite is usually true for those in high income households. The relationship between housing placement and school attended results in decreased social skills, and a feeling of segregation between Auckland school children.

Overcrowding is a real issue in Auckland, especially for those who earn lower incomes and have larger families. Overcrowding of a dwelling is usually measured by the Canadian National Occupancy Standard. This measure calculates the number of bedrooms needed in a household in comparison to the members of that household. The general rule is that there should be no more than two people per bedroom, but this can differ for couples and children. In New Zealand, the rates of overcrowding are highest for Maori and Pacific Islanders. This can be attributed to a number of factors including that families of these ethnicities more commonly live with other families or extended families, as well as affordability of rent and house ownership. Children brought up in overcrowded houses in New Zealand are more likely to contract infectious skin diseases, meningococcal, tuberculosis and rheumatic fever <ref>Statistics New Zealand (2012). ‘Ethnicity and crowding: A detailed examination of crowding among ethnic groups in New Zealand 1986–2006’. Wellington: Statistics New Zealand</ref>.

Figure 2: Percentage of people living in crowded households by ethnicity; 1986-2006<ref>Author unknown (2008) onine: Household crowding http://socialreport.msd.govt.nz/2008/economic-standard-living/household-crowding.html (accessed 21 September 2013</ref>
Table 2: Independent risk factors for meningococcal disease in Auckland children<ref>Baker, M., Mcnicholas, A., Garrett, N., Jones, N., Stewart, J., Koberstein, V., Lennon, D. (2000) ‘Household crowding a major risk factor for epidemic meningococcal disease in Auckland children’, Paediatric Infectious Disease Journal 19: 983-90</ref>

In an analysis undertaken by Statistics New Zealand, nearly half of those aged between 25 and 44 in New Zealand have issues with their homes. Nearly half of people in this age group who have children also experience such problems. Solo parents with children aged 45-64 have similar proportions of issues. Reasons for this could include that these are the age groups where purchasing a house and paying off a mortgage becomes most pertinent. Furthermore, solo parents normally survive on a more depleted income than couples, resulting in a struggle to make deadlines for maintenance and bill payment <ref>Statistics New Zealand (2010) online: Housing Problems, Housing Satisfaction and Tenure by Age Group and Family Type, 2010 http://nzdotstat.stats.govt.nz/wbos/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=TABLECODE7901 (accessed 22 September 2013)</ref>. Over one third of New Zealanders believe they have at least one problem with their house. The problems of most concern to these people were that their houses were cold, damp and small. Those in poor quality houses were four times more likely to experience this than those in better quality houses, and renters were three times as likely as house owners to experience such issues. This clearly demonstrates the relationship between unequal income and unequal housing conditions. Interestingly no correlation was found between perceptions of house quality and quality of life in this research paper <ref>Statistics New Zealand (2013). ‘Perceptions of housing quality in 2010/11: Exploratory findings from the New Zealand General Social Survey’. Available from www.stats.govt.nz</ref>. A review of the housing demand, supply and affordability in Auckland found that high housing costs result in an uneven spread of wealth. The rich get richer, and the poor remain poor, unable to afford houses of their own as prices rise. The report concluded that 23.8% of people in the lowest income quartile were unable to sufficiently heat or cools their home. Furthermore, 18.4% of children living in these homes had to go without adequate health care <ref>Leggatt-Cook, C. (2007) Housing Demand, Supply and Affordability in the Auckland Region. Auckland Regional Council: Auckland</ref>.

Table 1: Decile Rating of Auckland Secondary School’s in Comparison to Suburb House Prices<ref>Green, R.K., Hendershott, P.H. (2001) ‘Home-ownership and Unemployment in the US’, Urban Studies 38:9, pp1509-1520</ref><ref>NZ School (2012) online: High School Decile Ranking in 2012 http://school.ksou.cn/nztopschool.php?type=1&sta=vic&year=0&filter=&suburb&page=15 (accessed 21 September 2013)</ref><ref>Radio NZ (2013) online: Auckland House Prices Hit Record High http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/132002/auckland-house-prices-hit-record-high (accessed 21 September 2013)</ref><ref>Author unknown (2013) online: Henderson Houses for Sale http://www.realestate.co.nz/residential/search/property_types/1/suburbs/899 (accessed: 21 September 2013)</ref>

Housing quality can affect health in a number of ways. The indoor environment or the quality of air inside a dwelling can be decreased though toxic building materials, smoke, mould vehicle exhaust, gas fumes and open fires. These can contribute to respiratory diseases through repeated exposure. Lead poisoning can also occur in homes which have lead based paint or lead taps. Damp and mouldy houses also cause respiratory diseases, and dust mites can increase asthma irritation. Cold houses can be responsible for prolonged colds and flues, and can be the cause of serious diseases in the young and elderly <ref>Howdan-Chapman, P. (2004) ‘Housing standards: a glossary of housing and health’, Journal of Epidemiology Community Health 58, 162-168</ref>. A study performed for the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Journal has discovered that meningococcal is highest in Maori and Pacific Island children in the Auckland region. The paper found that the factor most highly correlated with the incidence of this disease, was household overcrowding <ref>Baker, M., Mcnicholas, A., Garrett, N., Jones, N., Stewart, J., Koberstein, V., Lennon, D. (2000) ‘Household crowding a major risk factor for epidemic meningococcal disease in Auckland children’, Paediatric Infectious Disease Journal 19: 983-90</ref>. As previously discussed, overcrowding is particularly high among Maori and Pacific Island families as a result of lower incomes and different living arrangements. Overcrowding, has severe effects on the health of children, the debilitating meningococcal illness is of primary concern. Contracting this disease can lead to further inequalities such as a decrease in education, social interaction and enjoyment of life.

Response (Environmental Management)

The Auckland City Council is taking several steps in addressing the inequality of housing in the city. One such initiative is a branch of the Warm up New Zealand programme. The insulation initiative is available to both renters and home owners and includes subsidies for ceiling and under floor insulation, hot water cylinder pipes, drought stopping under windows and doors as well subsidies for replacing older fire places and heaters with more energy efficient heaters. In order to address the inequalities of income around Auckland, the council is providing extra benefits to those who live in the poorer districts of Counties Manakau and Waitemata. Those who live in this area and are holders of a community services card and who live in a house built before 2000 are eligible for free insulation. Furthermore, priority is given to those with housing related illnesses such as respiratory diseases <ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Supported Home Insulation Options http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/homeimprovementprojects/Pages/homeinsulation.aspx#nz (accessed 23 September 2013)</ref>. This initiative is a big step in addressing the housing inequalities and related health issues in the Auckland region. If applied successfully, health and comfort levels will increase dramatically in the area. As well as this initiative, Strategic Direction 11 in the Auckland Council Plan addresses the problem of unaffordable and unhealthy houses in Auckland and plans to combat this problem with two main methods. Firstly, by increasing the supply of housing to meet the high demand, house prices will fall and will become more affordable. Primarily, development projects will be fast-tracked, as well as development contributions and consent fees being mitigated for developments that increase the supply of a particular type of housing or ease overcrowding in targeted areas. Secondly, improving the quality of both new and existing houses will take place. This is planned to be facilitated by incentivising development that follows best practice of urban design and environmental design principles which include; dwelling locations sited to capture sun, the use of high-efficiency/low cost heating methods as well as, high insulation standards<ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Auckland’s Housing:Priority 4: Improve housing affordability and the supply of affordable housing http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-housing/ (accessed 02 October 2013)</ref>.

Figure 3: Strategic Direction 11: Providing Aucklanders with secure, healthy and affordable homes<ref>Auckland Council (2013) online: Auckland’s Housing:Priority 4: Improve housing affordability and the supply of affordable housing http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-housing/ (accessed 02 October 2013)</ref>
At a national level, the Healthy Housing Programme is being implemented through out New Zealand. This programme is targeted to improve the living conditions of families at risk of infectious diseases, experiencing high levels of deprivation, and living in areas of low income. The programme aims to create more houses of an adequate quality in these areas, and decrease barriers between suburbs, and between organisations. The programme also aims to alleviate income inequality through providing referrals to local job agencies. The Healthy Housing programme wants to create a holistic and inclusive housing process by providing aid to improve several aspects of well being <ref>Bullen, C., Kearns, R. A., Clinton, J., Laing, P., Mahoney, F. and McDuff, I. (2008) ‘Bringing health home: Householder and provider perspectives on the healthy housing programme in Auckland, New Zealand’, Social Science and Medicine 66:5, pp1185-1196</ref>. As well as this, the Government provides insulation subsidies varying from 100 percent installation subsidy, to a 60 percent installation subsidy, depending on which criteria the home owner fulfils.
Figure 4: New Zealand's Home Insulation Subsidies Scheme<ref>Online:http://www.cea.co.nz/subsidies (accssesed 03 October 2013)</ref>

Adequate shelter is one of the fundamental needs in life; therefore it is not surprising that there are multiple housing programmes which aim to increase the quality of dwellings around the world. An example of one such initiative is the Neighbourhood Improvement Programme which was introduced in New South Wales, Australia in 1994. This scheme was targeted specifically at estates, or state housing. It aimed to strengthen the physical structure of the buildings and improve the layout of the housing estates. This programme also aimed to improve not only the physical aspects of housing, but to improve the living situation of the tenants as a whole. Improvements which have occurred since the implementation of the programme include effective housing management services, tenant and community involvement in the programme, optimum use of assets, increased employment opportunity and a more effective delivery of social services <ref>Randolph, B. and Judd, B. (2007) ‘Community renewal and large public housing estates’, Urban Policy and Research 18:1, pp 91-104</ref>.

Evaluation of Management Methods and Recommendations

From the environmental indicators addressed in section 3.2 above, it is clear to see that the Auckland Region suffers from housing inequality as a result of unaffordable, overcrowded and, ultimately, unhealthy homes. Without intervention these inequalities and associated outcomes will worsen over time as the population of the region grows. It is expected that in the next 30 years the population of the Auckland Region will grow between 2.2 and 2.5 million and around 400,000 new dwellings will be required, an additional 13,000 a year just to keep up with population growth. However, at present only 5,000 consents for new homes are issued in Auckland each year, and not all these are necessarily built<ref> Auckland Council (2013) online: Auckland’s Housing:Priority 4: Improve housing affordability and the supply of affordable housing http://theplan.theaucklandplan.govt.nz/aucklands-housing/ (accessed 03 October 2013)</ref>. The plans to increase housing supply has the potential to reduce the gap between housing demand and supply but is still in the development stage. The Government subsidy on the installation of home insulation also has the potential to improve housing quality, however, the home owner still needs to pay for the insulation itself and those on low income rates may still not be able to afford it, even if they do match the criteria needed.

Conclusion

Housing inequality is a substantial issue in the Auckland region and the factors that determine an Aucklander’s housing situation are interconnected- education determines job type and income, which in turn determines house quality and location, which in turn can determine both education opportunities for children and the health status of households. The environmental indicators on housing inequality that exist for the Auckland region includes; house (un)affordability, overcrowding, house quality and increased health risk of infectious skin diseases, meningococcal, tuberculosis and rheumatic fever. A number of responses are currently in action to try combat this issue, such as the Warm Up New Zealand Programme, the Healthy Housing Programme, home insulation subsidies, and the proposed plan to increase housing supply in Auckland to meet the high demand. Environmental management strategies are important, as the population of the Auckland Region is expected to grow rapidly over the next 30 years. Without such strategies, the environmental indicators that exist will worsen, and inequality will grow.

References

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