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A lack of safe, affordable housing in Auckland and Christchurch is badly impacting the health and well being of children and their parents, The Salvation Army says.
Housing supply and affordability are not being tackled with enough speed and concentration, The Salvation Army claims in its 2015 State of the Nation report “A Mountain All Can Climb”.
Aucklanders are faced with an affordable housing crisis with the average Auckland house price at $655,000, rents rising over the past two years and a housing supply shortage of 13,000 houses, the report finds, and the Government gets a D grade for housing in the report's social wellbeing scorecard.
“More houses are needed immediately in Auckland and Christchurch. They must be affordable for all levels of income. Government actions are not delivering sufficient affordable homes,” says Major Sue Hay, Director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.
Better efforts are needed for tackling serious crime, educational achievement and child poverty, which all get a C- or below in the report. “Consistency in the levels of violent crime – particularly domestic violence – and the decreased ability of the police to resolve violent crime is alarming,” report author Alan Johnson says.
The report is also critical of the Ministry of Education's failure to report on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) enrolments. “The Ministry of Education receives $1.5 billion of taxpayer funding to operate ECEC centres. Their inability to account for the social outcomes they are achieving in a timely manner is very regrettable,” the report states.
However, there have been improvements in falling teenage pregnancy rates, prisoner recidivism, living costs and food poverty, which all achieve scores of B+ or better.
This is the eighth year the annual report has been produced.