This week the government released “A Stocktake of New Zealand’s Housing” February 2018 authored by Alan Johnson, Philippa Howden-Chapman, Shamubeel Eaqub. This report details the current state of housing markets and the housing system in New Zealand. In response to this report Lisa Woolley, CEO at VisionWest Community Trust made the following comments:
The findings of this report confirm what is well known in the Community Housing sector. That the difficulty finding suitable affordable housing for families and individuals has been significantly increasing over the past decade. In-affordability of home ownership in most areas, for many people, coupled with population growth has increased pressure on the rental market. Housing stocks are not able to keep up with demand and rental costs increasing faster than wage increases.
The negative effects of transientness on families, forced to move from place to place in temporary housing have been recently documented in the report authored by AUT Professor of Economics Gail Pacheco.
At VisionWest we are working with many vulnerable individuals and families, assisting where we can to get them into safe secure long-term housing. VisionWest, as well as providing long term rentals from our own housing stock, are involved in several initiatives such as Housing First programme (https://www.housingfirst.co.nz), supporting families through transitional housing into private rentals and providing support for tenants to retain their current tenancy to break the cycle of frequent moves in and out of homelessness.
VisionWest has seen the positive effect of permanent, safe and affordable housing for low income families. Families who have previously been transient for many years, have remained housed with supports in place to assist the family to sustain their tenancy. This has resulted in children staying at one school, parents entering into further education and training leading to employment and families able to look at their future with a sense of hope.