Our proposal and projects

In partnership with others, we can do more to make sure everyone in Wellington has access to safe and affordable housing. We're putting forward a proposal for consultation, and we also want your feedback on a range of projects that are at different stages of development.

For a full description, read our consultation document (2MB PDF) | text version (118KB TXT) | accessible PDF (979KB PDF) | text version (1.4MB Word).

Rates impact and financial information

There are two options. Supporting our proposal means an increase in our levels of service. Not supporting it means keeping our current levels of service.

Our proposal

The Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP)


We propose to make better use of existing Council housing sites (and other Council land) to increase social and affordable housing in the city. This work will help us deliver our goal of working with partners to provide 750 new social and affordable housing units over the next 10 years.

We already have a programme to upgrade existing Council social housing throughout the city. We are about halfway through this programme and have $147.4 million in the budget over the next 10 years to upgrade or replace existing social housing units with new ones.

As we progress this work, we propose to leverage a proportion of the land/sites we own - either through lease arrangements or divestment - to attract investment from other housing providers, central government and developers to deliver affordable housing on those sites (in conjunction with the Council’s social housing). Once more detail is developed for each site, further engagement on the arrangements and funding options with stakeholders will take place.

We are proposing to invest an extra $22.1 million of capital expenditure and $10.7 million of operational funding over the next 10 years to get SHIP’s development programme going. Funding will be used for master planning, geotechnical work, developing partnership proposals, and preparing sites ready for development. 

Our social housing upgrade programme includes Arlington Apartments in Mt Cook.

Other projects

Wellington Housing Strategy


We have developed a draft housing strategy that sets a framework for all housing in Wellington. Its broad aim is for “all Wellingtonians to be well housed”. The strategy covers the full range of housing – from emergency housing, social housing, assisted rental, private rental, and assisted ownership, right through to private ownership. It sets four goals to be achieved over a 10-year period:

  • Wellington has a well-functioning housing system
  • Homes in Wellington are of good quality and are resilient
  • Homes meet the needs of Wellingtonians
  • The housing system supports sustainable, resilient and connected communities

The draft strategy provides a framework for the projects listed below.

The goal of our draft housing strategy is for all Wellingtonians to be well housed.

Special Housing Areas


In the coming year, we propose to work with central government to explore opportunities for developing new Housing Accord/Special Housing Areas (SHA) in Wellington to fast-track the supply of housing in the city.

SHAs are areas where we can offer qualifying developments a streamlined resource consenting path and several incentives. We will explore an accord with housing affordability as a component and an approach that speeds up consent processes. This work will be delivered from within existing budgets.

SHAs will help us fast-track the supply of new housing.

Further reading

Inner-city building conversions


We want to take a serious look at how we can make better use of the inner city for housing by working with commercial building owners on a project to convert their properties to residential apartments.

The first step is to explore options. This will be carried out in the first year and we only propose to continue with specific proposals if we are confident it will not impact on rates.

We could help create more accommodation in the central city by converting commercial properties to apartments.

Special Housing Vehicle (Urban Development Agency)


In recent years, we’ve consulted the community on taking a more active approach to housing and city shaping. As part of this plan, we are considering the establishment of a Special Housing Vehicle to help us take a more active approach towards delivering major housing capital projects and urban regeneration initiatives. Whether this agency is set up is still under consideration.

Central government is considering legislation related to urban development authorities. Once this legislation is introduced, more detailed funding and operating models will be considered and consulted on with the community. 

An urban development agency could help us deliver major housing projects and regenerate urban areas.

Rental warrant of fitness


Last year, we set up a voluntary warrant of fitness system in partnership with the University of Otago, Wellington.

Central government has also recently passed its Healthy Homes legislation, which requires higher standards for rental homes.

In the coming year, we will evaluate the results of the rental warrant of fitness. Taking the government’s changes into account, we will look at whether Wellington needs a standard to lift the quality of housing.

There are no cost implications for the Council at this time.

Workman plugging radiator into auto-timer.

We're looking at whether Wellington needs a standard for rental housing.

Further reading

Te Whare Oki Oki


Taking a Housing First approach, we are working in partnership with Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development to establish supported living options for our most vulnerable homeless population.

This initiative will align with and add to the programmes we are already supporting across the city to reduce homelessness.

Black and white photo of senior bearded man.

Supported living options could help our most vulnerable homeless population.

Rates impact and financial information

This financial information relates specifically to the initiatives listed as part of our proposal. It does not consider the costs of the other projects because these are at different stages of development.

For the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP), by year 10 this would add:

  • $13 (0.5 percent) to the average annual rates bill (equivalent to an average increase of $1.30 per year over the 10 years)
  • 4 percent or $20.1 million additional borrowings (after $2 million of debt repayment).


  • Construction of the Council’s social housing units will be funded through the existing Social Housing Upgrade Programme (and any divestment/lease of surplus land).
  • The $10.7 million of operational funding will service borrowings and resource a team to facilitate the development of partnerships, prepare development proposals and make sites ready for the development (SHIP programme).
  • Construction of affordable housing units will be funded and delivered by development partners.