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How Can We Afford To Live In Nelson?

Nelson is the third most expensive city in New Zealand – how can people afford to keep living here?

Community Action Nelson is encouraging discussion about viable alternative solutions to large-scale developments

Community Action Nelson (CAN) is a group of women with many years of experience in Nelson’s community health and social service sector.

Over the next few months, CAN is using a shopfront to raise awareness of one of Nelson’s most pressing issues, affordable housing.

CAN spokeswoman Jean Simpson says the great New Zealand dream of everyone owning their own home is simply no longer feasible.

“We believe that we must change our attitude to how we live in our cities, and look at different options for what we want from our homes,” she said. “For some years now CAN has had a major focus on housing, which is very strongly linked to health and wellbeing.

“In our installation What is a Home? we intend to broaden the discussion around what constitutes a home, and how we can make housing more affordable.”

Simpson said CAN was very grateful to Make/Shift Spaces for being prepared to let a group stage such an installation. What is a Home? is in the space on the corner of Collingwood and Hardy Streets.

From next week, CAN is inviting people to drop in between 12pm–2pm:

- Tuesday – displays, videos, plans, and background information

- Thursday –talks and discussions on affordable housing

“We’re hoping to engage anyone with an interest in housing, whether this is millennials wondering how they will ever get onto the property ladder, through to seniors wanting to downsize and use their exisiting homes more creatively as well as people looking at more secure ways to make long term renting a viable option,” Simpson said. “We are planning panels with councillors, presentations from architects, talks from tenants’ advocacy groups and a whole range of other speakers and topics as we work to raise the level of discussion about this important topic.”

In 2018, CAN produced the report ‘What is a Home? A new definition of housing in Nelson Tasman’ and presented this to Nelson City Council. The Report examined issues around housing that emerged from one of CAN’s workshops. CAN networked with representatives from the construction industry to identify barriers at council level that are slowing the process of affordable builds.

The space being used by CAN has been brokered by Make/Shift Spaces, who work with a range of artists, creatives, community and special interest groups to fill spaces with installations and activity.

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