INDEPENDENT NEWS

Housing debate puts politicians under the pump

Published: Tue 30 May 2017 10:41 AM
Housing debate puts politicians under the pump
The first debate of the election year will ask political parties what they are doing to ensure all New Zealanders live in warm, dry, affordable homes.
Hosted by Community Housing Aotearoa, Te Matapihi, The Salvation Army, NZ Council of Christian Social Services, Platform and Prefab NZ, the debate will focus on what is required to end the housing crisis in New Zealand.
CHA Chief Executive Scott Figenshow says the housing spokespeople from all political parties had been invited to take place in the debate being held at Te Papa on June 7.
The event, organised as part of CHA’s Impact Conference, will see the politicians asked a series of questions about how to “move the needle” in the right direction to see all New Zealanders well housed.
Expert commentators Hurimoana Nui Dennis, from Te Puea Marae, Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army and Stephen Selwood, of Infrastructure NZ, will ask follow-up questions and give their view on whether the responses would “move the needle” in the right direction.
Major Campbell Roberts says a lot of work has been done focused on increasing the overall housing supply, and significantly more money had gone into emergency and social housing.
“However, what is clearly missing is steps to help those in the ‘missing middle’ – the actions that will support those needing assisted rental or assisted ownership,” he says.
“Latest figures estimate as many as quarter of a million Kiwi households are in this intermediate market where they struggle to find adequate housing.”
Trevor McGlinchey, NZ Council for Christian Social Services, says that thousands of people are struggling to get by on low incomes.
”More than half our population live in rental housing, including seven out of every ten children in poverty, and housing costs are driving people deeper into poverty.”
Trevor McGlinchey says that the Income Related Rent Subsidy for social housing works really well to help social housing renters move out of poverty, but most people on low incomes are renting in the private sector and support for them is not enough.
“Some 285,000 households are receiving the Accommodation Supplement that’s paid out without taking account of the quality of the housing it’s paying for.
“Social service organisations working with families in market rentals regularly tell us about the cold, damp, unhealthy homes they live in where family members often end up sick, in hospital, or facing life-long health and social impacts as a result.
“Yet the landlords of these sub-standard houses are receiving Government subsidised rent through the Accommodation Supplement.
“We need to aim for something much better – to have a vision that is big and bold enough to change housing for the better,” he says.
Trevor McGlinchey says that vision must include minimum housing standards.
“We should look at how we can better design housing subsidies so they link to minimum housing standards and ensure people have enough income to heat their homes and meet their other daily costs.
“We need our politicians to listen and step up to tell us how they plan to do better for all New Zealanders – that's what this debate is about.”
Media are welcome to attend the debate which will be moderated by NZ Human Rights Commission Chief Commissioner David Rutherford.
[ends]
More information about the debate can be found here
Community Housing Aotearoa
Nga Wharerau o Aotearoa
Community Housing Aotearoa is the peak body for New Zealand's community housing sector. Our 110 members build and manage affordable and social housing.
Our Vision is to make sure every New Zealander is well-housed in a warm, safe, dry and affordable home. This is a basic human right.
We work to support the growth and development of community housing providers to enable them to provide affordable and social housing.
We want to demonstrate that community housing is a critical element alongside private and government owned housing. No one can do it alone.
Community Housing Aotearoa aims to: be the voice of the community housing sector build capacity and foster collaboration promote best practice in housing policy champion quality and excellence.
Contact Community Housing Aotearoa
Website:
Phone:
Physical Address:
Level 11, Ranchhod Tower, 39 The Terrace/102-112 Lambton Quay, Wellington
Email:
Postal Address:
PO Box 11543 Wellington 6142

Next in New Zealand politics

PM’s Chatham House Speech
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand Secures Major Free Trade Deal With European Union
By: New Zealand Government
New Measures To Help Manage COVID-19 As Country Stays At Orange
By: New Zealand Government
New Era For Better Health In Aotearoa New Zealand
By: New Zealand Government
Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill Pulled From Biscuit Tin
By: Green Party
Wellington’s Rapid Transit Option Progresses To Next Stage
By: New Zealand Government
EU Market Remains Largely Closed To NZ Dairy
By: Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand
Winners And Losers In NZ-EU FTA
By: Business NZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media