NZCCSS calls for more social housing and a right to housing

Invisible in the Super City coverThere are many thousands of people in very severe housing need right now, sleeping in cars, garages, over-crowded homes or sleeping rough. Every day social service agencies are working with people affected by severe housing need. Urgent and substantial action is needed to meet this specific need and NZCCSS is calling on the Government to take more action to meet this need.

“We fully support the call for thousands more social housing units in Auckland in the Salvation Army report Invisible in the Super City released this week,” says NZCCSS President Lisa Woolley. “The need is clearly highest in Auckland, with an estimated 15,000 people in severe housing need, but it is not only Auckland and at least another 20,000 people in other places around New Zealand are effectively homeless. They need a warm dry affordable home. “

“We need a clear commitment to add thousands more social housing homes over the next few years. There is no time to lose”, she adds.

New Zealand also needs to recognise the fundamental right to housing for all people in this country and particularly the many thousands of children in homelessness or sub-standard housing.

Countries that have made the right to housing part of their law are proven to do better at protecting the housing rights of most vulnerable in our communities, including children.

“The right to housing is not a ‘luxury we cannot afford’. It is a basic building block for ensuring that every child, every person in this country gets a fair chance in life. That is the very least we can do as a country,” says Lisa Woolley.

“Compared to other wealthy countries, New Zealand is an outlier in its lack of direct investment into social housing. In other countries, like Australia or the United Kingdom for example, the social and community housing sector has increased hugely the number of people they provide homes for. This is been based on large Government capital investment as well as more flexible funding models, transfers of assets and commitments to fund the support services required for housing those with higher needs.”

NZCCSS members and staff will be among those joining the Child Poverty Action Group Hikoi for Homes this Saturday 21st November in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The kaupapa of the hikoi includes calling for statutory right to housing, more social housing and minimum standards for all rental housing.

 For further information, contact:

  • Trevor McGlinchey Executive Officer 027 286 9393
  • Lisa Woolley, NZCCSS President – 09 818 0702, 027 664 5310

New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services is the umbrella organisation of the churches’ social service agencies in Aotearoa. Our members are Anglican Care Network, Baptist Churches of Aotearoa New Zealand, Catholic Social Services, Presbyterian Support NZ, the Methodist Church and the Salvation Army.