Housing affordability in Raglan now and in the future

The social issue we have chosen to address is housing affordability in Raglan. This is a very relevant issue in our town and has the power to impact my generation in the future. Over time the Raglan housing prices have increased forcing people out of Raglan in order to be able to afford a home or even forced to live in tents and cars due to housing prices drastically increasing and therefore, the supply and availability of houses to buy and rent has decreased.

A housing study has been completed regarding the housing crisis by a group called WRAP (Whaingaroa Raglan Affordability Project). WRAP works alongside the community to assist in creating possible solutions to this issue. WRAP states that “the rate of house building in Raglan would need to at least double over the next 8 years to substantially meet projected demand” and “the commercially feasible dwelling will tend to be at prices above what most households can afford.”

‘House Affordability’ is based on the multiple median x 3. The multiple median is the median cost of a house to purchase, divided by the median household income of the area. The multiple median in Raglan is 12.2, close to the multiple median of a house in Queenstown, their multiple median was 12.95 in October of this year. Hamilton’s ‘MM’ is 6.61, and New Zealand’s ‘MM’ is 6.63. The ‘MM’ almost doubles as you come into Raglan, this shows that housing affordability is at crisis point and it is currently unrealistic to buy a house, leaving no room for future generations to be able to afford homes nor current families to be able to afford safe and secure housing.

Our class took part in a series of social actions that supported a submission to the Waikato District Council that wants to make changes to the Waikato District Plan. We joined with WRAP who are leading submissions to the WDC, to influence a policy change in the availability and affordability of housing in Raglan for the longterm future. We presented at the recent ‘Conversations about Housing’ community forum along with a range of other speakers from different sectors to do with ‘Affordable Housing’. We participated in this form of action in an attempt to lobby the Waikato District Council and support the submissions from WRAP. We presented in two groups, the first group’s role was to state the local ‘youth concerns’ around housing affordability in Raglan now and in the future.

We did this by gathering the youth voice from a survey of 16 to 25-year-olds, and then we presented to the forum in the form of a ‘slam poetry’ presentation, we think this sent a very powerful message to our community. The second group built a model of a possible housing development solution to address future housing affordability. They presented the Housing model and spoke about these solutions at the community forum. The whole experience has really opened our eyes to the ongoing struggle many people in our community have when trying to find somewhere to live or wanting to be able to buy a house but can’t because it is financially unattainable. We have been asked to continue to work with WRAP and be a youth representative voice on the social issue of ‘Housing Affordability in Raglan now and in the future”.

Year 13 Senior Social Studies class 2019, Raglan Area School.