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Better Housing Is Not Enough!

Better houses on their own will not stop tragedies like that which occurred recently in Northland.

Better houses do not come with a continuous electricity supply. That comes with an adequate income. That's most likely to be the real issue.

If people don't have an adequate income, from either or both of a job and income support, they cannot afford the basics that make for safe living.

It is interesting that if a house has no water, it becomes a health hazard and not able to be lived in. Electricity, as this tragic case has again shown, can be much more important as a health and safety issue.

It is also interesting to note that only one in ten of those eligible for a "Special Benefit" in Northland actually receive their entitlement. They could be missing out on over $20 a week.

Poverty is an income issue, and while better houses are important, on their own they are not enough to stop tragedies like this occurring.

Ian Ritchie
Palmerston North Poverty Action Group
Employment and Future Incomes Researcher
Ph 06 354 3804 / 06 3289 618

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