Low income families aspire to the kiwi dream of a home of their own
Having a home of their own is still the dream of low income New Zealand families. This is according to a report 'A Home I Could Own' released today by The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit. The report surveyed 800 New Zealand low income families accessing Salvation Army Community Services and found that 90% of the families aspire to homeownership.
Barriers to achieving their aspiration included low income, inability to save, poor credit, debt and a lack of information about saving for, and purchasing a home.
Homeownership is preferred because of the stability it gives families. The majority of those surveyed were in rental accommodation and many moved often, and complained about the poor quality of the housing they rented. They viewed homeownership as a way out of this cycle of instability.
Bonnie Robinson, Deputy Director of the Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit said there are a number of implications for the incoming government. These include the development of more programmes to enable low income households to own their own homes, the need for second chance lending for those with previous poor credit, and increased opportunities for families to learn about home purchasing, the banking system, and home financing. In addition to improved homeownership, policies and programmes need to be developed to ensure that rental housing provides security of tenure, and a healthy living environment, for those who cannot make, (or choose not to), the move to homeownership.