Te Ope Whakâora
MEDIA RELEASE, Wellington, Wednesday, 28
Issued on the Authority of Lieut-Colonel Garth McKenzie
Chief Secretary, The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory
Government Housing Strategy
The Government Housing Strategy Discussion Document being launched tomorrow by the Minister of Housing Steve Maharey provides an excellent opportunity for the community to contribute to improved housing for low income New Zealanders, said Major Campbell Roberts, The Salvation Army’s National Director of Social Policy Research.
‘New Zealand needs new solutions that will build on current policy if we are to meet the needs of the many desperate families the Salvation Army sees who are homeless or living in very poor housing,’ said Major Roberts.
‘Home ownership, which has always been an essential plank in New Zealand’s social stability, is currently out of reach for most low income New Zealanders. Innovative strategies and partnerships are needed to give ordinary New Zealanders the chance to own their own home.
‘The strategy also provides the opportunity to ask questions about the Accommodation Supplement. Does the $800 million spent on this programme deliver the best housing solutions or does this huge investment actually hinder the development of other forms of low income housing, such as improvements in State Housing, and assistance with home ownership?
‘A well-targeted and effective Housing policy has the potential to reduce poverty, crime and social isolation. Good, stable housing is essential if people are to remain healthy and be able to take up and sustain education or employment.’
Major Roberts said The Salvation Army viewed the National Housing Strategy as an important step towards an improvement in the housing situation of a group of very vulnerable New Zealanders. He hoped that a wide cross section of individuals, sectors and organisations will respond to the questions the document poses, so that New Zealand can find innovative solutions to housing need.