Women and children suffering in the housing crisis

Published: Mon 2 Feb 2015 12:23 PM
Women and children suffering in the housing crisis
“The high demand for immediate housing support combined with the lack of emergency and long-term affordable rental options in our urban centres is an ongoing crisis. This situation has seen our Christian social services members unable to offer appropriate alternatives. The situation is most stark when trying to find emergency housing for women and children. Some of the only available alternatives are unsafe boarding houses or supporting families to continue to live in their cars,” says Trevor McGlinchey, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS). “Our members are in danger of being overwhelmed by and unable to respond to this ongoing housing crisis.”
“In our urban areas access to affordable rental homes and emergency accommodation has been at this level for several years”, said McGlinchey. “NZCCSS members are meeting soon to discuss the recent social housing policy announcements by government, and will develop their responses both as individual organisations and as members of NZCCSS. However, this 20th Vulnerability Report clearly reveals the need for many more affordable, healthy rental homes – something the current Government policy announcements do not appear to provide for. ”
NZCCSS has released the 20th Vulnerability Report. This report while identifying an increase in official statistics for participation in employment and a decrease in registered unemployment also demonstrates this has not had a similar effect in providing for family wellbeing. “The shift from our members working with predominantly those dependent on State benefits to a mix of working poor and those on welfare support is marked”, said McGlinchey. “So while the numbers of people on benefits drop and the number of hardship and other special grants made by Work and Income decreases, the demand for food parcels, budget advice, family counselling and other supports from of Christian social services members continues to grow.”

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