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Christian Social Services Building a Decent Future

Building a Decent Future

The fading dream of home ownership and families forced to live in substandard accommodation are just two of the problems highlighted in a report released by the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services on the future of housing.

We hope this report will stimulate people to make submissions on the New Zealand Housing Strategy Document said the Council spokesperson Major Campbell Roberts. The New Zealand that most of us want is where our kids have safe, healthy and affordable housing. The Government needs to hear this clearly from as many New Zealanders as possible before submissions close on the 31st July.

Low-income Kiwi families use to dream of owning their own house, now being able to even afford the rent is a nightmare for increasing numbers of families.

"If low income people in this generation are to realise the traditional dream of owning a bit of dirt and a house then urgent action is required to make homeownership possible" said Major Campbell Roberts. The Council's report highlights the falling rate of home ownership, which is expected to fall to 62% by 2011, compared to 73% in 1986. Maori and Pacific People's rates of home ownership are especially low at 44% and 35.5% respectively.

The Council is also concerned that the high cost of housing is forcing some families to live in substandard conditions. In 1988 16% of households with incomes in the lowest fifth of incomes spent more than 30% of their income on housing costs, but by 2001 this reached 42% of households.

Major Campbell Roberts said that unless there is a major effort to improve housing affordability then an increasing number of New Zealand families will miss out on decent housing and this will have flow-on effects throughout our communities.

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