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The REAL Housing Affordability Problem

For Immediate Release; 2nd October 2008 > with Poster image for your use

MEDIA RELEASE:

The REAL Housing Affordability Problem

The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS) is calling for political candidates to focus on those in greatest need when they debate the issue of ‘housing affordability’.

“Every election politicians seem to concentrate on the political mileage to be made from appealing only to sides of an issue they consider appeal most to the so-called average voter. On an issue like housing, this can mean that those who are most marginalised from living in safe and healthy housing are almost excluded from the public debate,” says Karen Morrison–Hume, NZCCSS Housing and Poverty Policy Group Convenor. 

“We need to do more to protect the basic human right to adequate housing. Housing affordability is not just about home ownership - it’s also about people who may never own a house and who experience often extreme housing needs every day. Those people include people in need of emergency housing, those on state housing waiting lists, people without secure private sector tenancies, the homeless and families and children who live in sub-standard housing”.

“This is the REAL housing affordability problem highlighted in the latest instalment of our social justice information series being published under our call for more action, ‘Aroha tetahi ki tetahi – Let us look after each other’”.

“When political candidates in the upcoming Election are questioned about housing, we believe more questions need to be asked of them about housing issues beyond the increasingly elusive ‘Kiwi dream’ of home ownership.” says Karen Morrison-Hume.

“Our areas of greatest concern in terms of social responsibility are: housing the homeless and emergency housing; building enough affordable housing in the state and community sector; provision of secure private sector rental tenancies; and establishing standards for good quality and environmentally sustainable housing”.

“The negative impact that poor quality housing has on families and children remains a major issue in Aotearoa New Zealand. Steps being taken to improve the quality of state houses are welcomed, but we also have to face issues such as the unmet demand for a greater quantity of both state (social) housing and housing funded through community based solutions such as housing trusts”.

To reinforce its message NZCCSS will be providing relevant links and access to more information about housing issues on the NZCCSS website at www.justiceandcompassion.org.nz

ends

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