In a post-election briefing recently provided to the Minister of Housing the Hon Megan Woods (available here) The Salvation Army has likened New Zealand’s housing situation to the perfect storm.
‘We have several coincident forces which have created the perfect housing storm for low-income and vulnerable New Zealanders’, says The Salvation Army’s Social Housing Director Greg Foster. ‘This storm is entirely the creation of poor housing policies of the past as well as related monetary and fiscal policies of the present’, he says.
In its briefing to Minister Woods the Army noted five factors which it believes are driving this storm:
‘We cannot see an end in sight and expect things to get worse – at least for the next 12 to 18 months, ’ Mr Foster says. ‘Rents and the price of affordable housing are likely to continue to rise faster than incomes, and the social housing waiting list will grow longer still’, he claims.
In its briefing to the Housing Minister, The Salvation Army suggests that the Government needs to act urgently and comprehensively to end this perfect storm. It offers eight proposals for policy reform which include:
‘Right now we face a serious risk that a generation of younger New Zealanders will be scarred by their current experiences of poor and inadequate housing’ says Mr Foster. ‘The Salvation Army has built over a 100 social houses in the past 12 months and will be building more in the next 12 months with the support of the Government, and nonetheless, I feel that they need to do even more to support the sector to build more social and affordable housing at this time.
For enquiries contact: The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: firstname.lastname@example.org