Healthy and efficient housing

Housing is a fundamental component of city quality of life. A high quality, efficient home is more cost effective and healthier for occupants to live in.

Following the earthquakes, dwellings have been repaired or replaced with dwellings built to modern building codes, which set the performance standards that all new building work must meet. Aspects of the building code include moisture control, energy efficiency, durability, structural stability, access, and fire safety.



Key findings

Damp and mould No trend discernible
In both 2016 and 2018, 22% of households reported having a damp or mould problem at their home. Further information.
Cold housing Snapshot
Half of all houses in Christchurch were reported as being always or often colder than occupants preferred in 2016. Further information.
Repairs needed Snapshot
In 2016, 68% of households reported their house needed minor or extensive repairs. This was higher than the national average (64%). Further information.
Household crowding Increasing trendIncreasingTrend 3.6% of households needed at least one more bedroom for occupants in 2013. Ethnic disparities are apparent in household crowding. Further information.
Domestic energy expenditure Decreasing trend
As a proportion of total household expenditure, household energy and private transport supplies/service costs have decreased since 2013. Further information.
Council-owned housing Decreasing trend

Resident satisfaction with the quality of tenancy in Council social housing units has decreased since the earthquakes.

In 2017, 64% of tenants were satisfied. Further information.

Damp and mouldy housing

One of the key determinants of a healthy home is the presence of damp and mould.  Damp and mould can occur as a result of housing being insufficiently insulated from cold and damp conditions.

The Quality of Life survey in both 2016 and 2018 also showed that around 1 in 5 households (22 %) agreed or strongly agreed that their homes had a problem with dampness and/or mould. This was lower than the national figure of 27 % reporting dampness and/or mould.

Encouragingly, the proportion who did not report a problem with damp or cold housing increased slightly from 64 to 67 % between 2016 and 2018.

Cold housing

In 2016, half of all Christchurch households reported that their house was always or often colder than they preferred, which was slightly lower than the national proportion (52 %). Only 8.4 % reported that their house was never colder than they preferred.

Repairs needed

In 2016, just under one third of Christchurch households reported that their house did not currently require any repairs and maintenance. This was lower than for the whole of New Zealand (36 %).

Around 61 % of Christchurch households reported that minor/some repairs and maintenance were needed, which was higher than for the whole of New Zealand (58 %). This could be due to some houses still awaiting repair following the 2010–2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence.

A small proportion needed immediate/extensive repairs and maintenance (6.4 % of Christchurch houses).

Household crowding

Household crowding has increased slightly since 2001, possibly reflecting higher housing costs and the post-earthquake temporary housing shortage.

Between 2001 and 2013, the proportion of households requiring one more bedroom increased from 2.6 % to 2.9 % of all households. Over the same period, households requiring two or more bedrooms increased from 0.4 % to 0.7 %. These figures are below the national average.

Numerically, around 4,500 households were assessed as requiring one or more bedrooms in 2013. Maori, Pacific and Asian and MELAA households are disproportionately represented in household crowding statistics.

In 2013, 28 % of households needing at least one more bedroom were Maori households (despite making up 11 % of the City's total households), 26 % were Asian households (9 % of total households), 16 % were Pacific households (three % of total households), and four % were MELAA households (three % of total households).

Domestic energy expenditure

In 2016, Canterbury households spent an average of $46 per week on household energy costs, which was 80 cents less than in 2013.

Household energy costs as a proportion of total household expenditure have been decreasing since 2010, and in 2016 comprised 3.9 % of total household expenditure.

In 2016, the average household weekly expenditure on private transport supplies and services was $75, which was $17 less than in 2013 ($92). In 2013, these costs made up 6.3 % of total weekly expenditure, compared with 8.5 % in 2013.

Satisfaction with Council-owned social housing units

Social housing is an important aspect of the Christchurch housing stock. The service provides essential housing needs to vulnerable people within the City. 

Christchurch City Council currently owns more than 2,200 housing units spread throughout most suburbs in Christchurch. Social housing tenancies are managed via the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust.

The level of satisfaction with the quality of tenancy in Council social housing units has declined since the earthquakes. In 2012, 78 % of residents were satisfied, compared with 64 % in 2017.


Further information

Please email for further information.

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