04.385.8721 Community Housing Aotearoa
South Auckland Housing Crisis Deepens
Thousands are living in garages because of affordability issues
Wellington, 9 December, 2008: There are potentially thousands of families living in garages across South Auckland because of the rising costs of rents and mortgages. Community workers say the situation is rapidly getting worse with families of 15+ sharing only one toilet. "More and more of our clients are living in situations like this, they are moving in together because the affordability is not there," says Pikura Purotu, Cook Islands Housing Liaison.
The housing crisis is particularly affecting families on lower incomes who cannot make it on their own and are forced to share accommodation to stay off of the streets. The unfortunate result is that many families are forced to move into garages just to get by. "The rents are climbing to $330 to $380 a week for a small three bedroom home," says Elaine Lolesio, of Monte Cecillia Emergency Housing. The situation is so dire that some builders are including a phone jack and aerial plug in the garages of their newer developments. This should be a clear signal that there is a shortage of adequate and affordable housing in these neighbourhoods. Living in a garage should at no point be considered a viable option for any person or family.
Hundreds of families are on the state housing lists and emergency housing across the region is full. Community Housing Aotearoa is establishing Pacific Island Housing Forums throughout Aotearoa, 1 Dec 2008 marked the launch of the forums in Auckland. The Pukapuka Community hosted the meeting and over 100 Pacific Island Social Service Providers gathered to form a collective and is demanding a declaration of action by the government to increase resources into the community housing and state housing sectors. Pacific Island housing forums will be carried out in 2009 to address housing issues in all regions.