The kiwi dream of owning a stand-alone house with a quarter-acre section seems less and less achievable for many low- and moderate-income households in New Zealand. Indeed, traditional land and real estate law have failed to address housing affordability issues. Furthermore, they stem from an individualistic vision of society that does not necessarily foster wellbeing and community spirit.
With my research, I intend to raise the awareness in New Zealand around alternative housing models, such as cooperative housing, tiny houses, and community land trusts, and thereby inspire citizens and key housing players (both public and private ones) to implement these models in their local neighbourhood as solutions to the current housing affordability crisis. Indeed, by sharing sections and/or buildings, citizens can reduce their housing costs as well as design homes that are more sustainable and suit their needs.
As my personal and professional background is from different European civil law jurisdictions, I hope I can add further insights into successful examples of community-led housing from these countries and thereby contribute to the academic and political debate around adequate housing in New Zealand.