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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Small Area Fair Market Rents
  • Volume 21 Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Observing New Zealand’s Housing Crisis: Efforts to Produce and Finance Affordable Housing and its Implications for U.S. Policies

Jeffrey Mosley
Principal, Jeffrey Mosley Community Development Consulting, LLC and Fulbright Specialist

Homelessness, overcrowding, and cost burden are common crises facing people with no or low incomes. The number of families who are homeless or struggling to reliably afford a place to live remain at crisis levels across the United States. Replace the reference to the housing crisis in the United States with New Zealand, but picture it to a greater degree. For decades, the United States has maintained public and, increasingly, private investment through a generally consistent housing finance regulatory framework, particularly the Community Reinvestment Act and investment tools like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Not-for-profit housing developers have been mainstays in the ownership, development, and sponsorship of affordable housing across the United States and have benefited from public-private capacity-building investments. New Zealand has no such housing finance regulatory framework and has an inconsistent history of supporting not-for-profit housing providers’ capacity to develop real estate. The net result is a chronically underfunded public-private investment across the affordable housing continuum. This article provides a cautionary tale to U.S. housing policymakers and stakeholders from another western, albeit smaller, nation facing its own housing crisis and the level to which it is willing to commit development capital resources to meet the needs of those most vulnerable.

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