Overcrowding remains a problem for South Auckland communities.
A Salvation Army survey of housing conditions in one of Auckland’s more overcrowded suburbs has found there has been no improvement in their living conditions in the past five years.
The door-to-door household survey in the South Auckland suburb of Harania West shows up to 23 per cent of residents, and up to 29 per cent of children, live in overcrowded conditions. The neighbourhood was chosen as it is seen as typical of South Auckland communities.
Salvation Army social policy spokesman Major Campbell Roberts says, “The effects of overcrowding, such as increased incidences of rheumatic fever, skin infections, and respiratory illnesses, which we are now seeing, place immense pressures on these families and long-term social and economic costs to the nation.”
The survey’s results are similar to the 2006 Census, which showed an already overcrowded neighbourhood with an average household size 50 per cent greater than the regional average.
The Salvation Army estimates Auckland has a shortage of around 13,000 dwellings, with a need for 7000 to 8000 new dwellings a year.
The survey showed the neighbourhood is gaining a greater proportion of Pacific Island people and is experiencing a baby boom. Private rental accommodation is making-up a greater proportion of housing than in 2006.
Of the 1062 households in the Harania West census area, 876 took part in the survey. Information was collected in June and July this year and was compared to comparable data from the 2006 Census to assess any changes in local housing conditions in the past five years.
The Salvation Army decided to undertake the survey following the postponement of this year’s Census and the data collected from Harania West would provide an indication of how the rest of the region was faring.
Issued on the Authority of Commissioner Donald Bell (Territorial Commander) The Salvation Army, New Zealand Fiji & Tonga Territory