Government considers rent controls to tackle unaffordable housing

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Nothing is off the table, including rent controls, as Government officials search for ways to help people struggling with the cost of accommodation, Associate Housing Minister Poto Williams says.

With some of the measures being proposed a balance needed to be struck to ensure inequities weren’t created in other places.

“Proposals around rent controls and the like overseas have shown that while it will alleviate issues in one area, it sometimes causes problems in others,” Williams said.

“So whatever measures we put in place there is a trade-off and a balance that’s to be struck. So we want to look carefully at these measures, but we also want to look quickly at giving our renters some relief.”

A huge amount of house building was under way, and that would solve the problem longer term, and the Government was working with councils and others to build the infrastructure needed for that to happen.

Trade Me data showed a $40 increase in rents in the year to December 2021, while the number of rentals available on the site was 10 per cent lower in November 2021 compared to five years earlier and down 6 per cent from a year earlier.

Figures from Stats NZ put the increase in rents for new tenancies at 5.8 per cent in the year to December 2021. For the entire rental market, including existing tenancies, the rise was up 3.7 per cent.

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