The right to a place to call home that is safe and secure is a basic human right. With New Zealand’s ongoing housing crisis, Caritas advocates for low-income and vulnerable families to have access to safe and affordable housing.
The average weekly rent for a three bedroom private house has increased from $280 in 2005 to $359 in 2013/14, a 28 per cent increase. (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment). In March 2015, there were approximately 4800 households on the social housing wait list.
- 10 per cent of New Zealand homes overall are overcrowded, which is associated with higher risk of spreading infectious diseases.
- 23 per cent of Māori families live in overcrowded homes and 43 percent of Pasifika families. (New Zealand College of Public Medicine, 2013)
In this context, Caritas has continued to advocate for secure and affordable housing for the most vulnerable. Through our work with the Church Leaders meeting with political leaders, we have advocated for the importance of increasing social housing stock and the significant role of state housing in this.
In 2013, we made a submission to the Social Housing Reform Bill and the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill. From poor housing to a good home was a key theme for the 2015 Social Justice Week focus and we spoke with emergency housing provider De Paul House about the families that they support.