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Kapiti not immune from Housing Crisis
April 2017
Rob McCann has been speaking throughout the Otaki electorate on the growing housing crisis.

Kapiti has not been immune from the impacts of what many have termed a housing crisis. Rents have soared, accommodation is in short supply and unprecedented pressure has come on social housing stock throughout the Kapiti Coast.

Recent research date shows the depth of the issue and increasing pressure will be put on local and central government to address an immediate and growing problem.

The Salvation Army has commended the Housing Foundation for its research released today, which it says is critical to the dialogue necessary to drive action to address New Zealand's housing crisis.

'The Housing Foundation research confirms beyond doubt what many have instinctively known: that in demonstrable ways, many New Zealanders are living in less stable, secure and healthy homes,' said Lieut-Colonel Ian Hutson, Director of The Salvation Army's Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.

This research shows:

  • dropping rates of household home ownership: from 74% in 1991 to 64% in 2015
  • an increasing proportion of households who rent: from 23% in 1991 to 32% in 2015
  • escalating cost of housing in Auckland where 115,000 of renters can't afford the median rent of $540 per week.

    The evidence is clear that New Zealand has reached a turning point where significant action and strong leadership is required, Lieutenant-Colonel Hutson said. This evidence includes:

  • agencies like The Salvation Army struggling to meet the demand for housing, especially in Auckland
  • people living in unstable, insecure, unhealthy and otherwise inappropriate accommodation, including families sleeping in cars
  • begging in the streets has become a normalised sight
  • child poverty has become entrenched.

    'Market-driven theories about how to address these growing problems are proving inadequate. Instead, it is clear that governments, councils, churches, investors, private property owners all have a part to play together to adequately address this crisis,' Lieutenant-Colonel Hutson said.

    'The Salvation Army believes every person deserves a level of support that enables them to flourish. The current housing crisis is undermining this ideal by fostering a level of debilitating poverty. Ensuring that everyone has a dry, warm and safe home is perhaps the most important way we can provide this support and lift our fellow New Zealanders out of poverty.'

    Otaki Labour candidate Rob McCann has been highlighting the issue of housing shortages and rent rises for the last few years and says the crisis is very real and needs addressing urgently.

    "The government has abdicated its responsibility to deal with the housing crisis. A housing crisis which forces families to share houses and garages, renters to pay exorbitant rents and potential first home owners to give up on their dream of ever owning a home," says Mr McCann.
    He says a Labour Government will not allow the Housing Crisis to continue. "With Labour, the Kiwi dream of owning your own home, or being able to save while renting, is alive and well. We will stop overseas investors from purchasing Kiwi homes.
    "We will start building houses again (100,000 over 10 years) and create jobs while bringing back apprenticeships where young people will be trained rather than left to rot on the dole.
    "And, we will crack down on speculators who are gaining the system and locking out first home owners."
    Mr McCann says Housing New Zealand needs to provide housing for New Zealanders, not a profit for the government.

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  • Other stories in this section:
    KC News: the Internet Newspaper for the Kapiti Coast