In late 2019, as part of a place-based assessment Council and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) worked together to understand the housing challenges that Rotorua was facing. It was identified that there was a deficit of 1,750 homes and that number was growing.
Other challenges include:
- lack of public housing
- increasing homelessness
- unaffordability of house sale prices and rental prices
- lack of available land for developments
- cost of building
- growing population
- availability of trades personnel and expertise
- legislative requirements for consenting and monitoring
- high rates of unemployment and low wage rates compared to the rest of Aotearoa
- landscape – Rotorua has a lot of geothermal areas and is settled within a caldera.
- legacy of underinvestment in infrastructure
During the past two years those challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges, and following more than 15 years of little increase in population, Rotorua continues to grow:
- Between 1996 and 2013, the population increased by 2.7% (1,800 people).
- In the following seven years, (2013 and 2020) the population increased by 13% (9,000 people).
- As at June 2021 the population in Rotorua is 77,254 residents.
Infometrics population projections, predict that the population in Rotorua is expected to increase to:
- 85,085 residents by 2031
- 90,835 residents by 2051
According to HUD’s place-based assessment and Infometrics population projections, it’s projected that Rotorua will need an additional 6,000 homes built over the next 10 years.