Housing challenges

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.