THE SALVATION ARMY
Issued on the Authority of Major Campbell Roberts,
Director, Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit,
New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory
10 June 2005
For immediate release
The Salvation Army Supports Auckland City Council Social Housing Initiative
The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit supports the Auckland City Council’s plans to contribute $1 million to increasing social housing.
“Housing is a major determinant of well being. People who are affordably, securely sustainably housed do better in work and school, have better health, better family life and contribute more fully to the community,” said Major Campbell Roberts, Director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.
Low income households in cities can have significant problems locating suitable affordable housing, resulting in real hardship. A recent study found that 60% of those who came to foodbanks were paying more than 30% of their income in rent, some paid 50% or more of their income in rent. This left them without enough money to pay for power, food, transport, school costs and other essentials.
“When people can’t get affordable housing it affects not just that household but the whole community and the local economy,” said Major Roberts.
The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit considers that those who want to restrict housing to a central government role only don’t understand the scale and complexity of the problem.
“Central government on its own can’t meet the demand for social housing. We need to be more creative than just saying ‘let the government do it’. What is required, especially in expensive, growing areas like Auckland, are partnerships between central government, local government, the private sector and the community,” said Major Roberts.
“We look forward to seeing the housing programmes that will come forward as a result of the Auckland City Council initiative,” concluded Major Roberts