Auckland faces a major housing shortage as residential construction struggles to keep pace with population growth, a new report reveals.
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has released the report Left Further Behind - an "urgent call" for the Government to implement policies to relieve child poverty across the country.
The report says the Department of Building and Housing estimates Auckland will face a shortage of 11,000 dwellings over the next three years.
Over the next 20 years this housing deficit is set to grow to 90,000.
One in five New Zealand children live in "severe or significant" hardship, according to OECD figures.
In a chapter on housing, poverty and children, CPAG lists Auckland's "looming housing shortage" as one of five factors that could prevent home affordability for the country's future generations.
Other factors cited include the housing bubble which "has not burst", the Christchurch earthquake, leaky homes and New Zealanders' housing-related debt.
Over the past five years, Auckland's share of new house building has accounted just under a quarter of the national total. This is despite recent and projected figures suggesting half of New Zealand's population growth is occurring in Auckland.
The report says it remains to be seen whether the next generation chooses to accept the "affordable housing challenge" or to move to Australia and leave it for "mum and dad".
The report states the link between inadequate housing and poor health and education outcomes is "well understood" but is not acknowledged by the Government.
It recommends further research be carried out to properly recognise this correlation and that the Government develop and fund a national housing plan to address emergency housing shortages identified by the Department of Building.
OTHER REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Monitor all major indicators of child poverty and report these on a regular basis with specific target reductions to be met on the way to ending child poverty by 2020.
- Create a senior cabinet position with responsibility for children, such as a Minister for Children.
- Remove work-based rules for child financial assistance and pay the equivalent of the In Work Tax Credit to all low income families.
- Ensure that affordable, appropriate childcare and early childhood education, including kohanga reo and playcentres, is available for all children.
- Provide free access to 24/7 healthcare for all children under six.
- Develop and fund a national housing plan to address the emerging housing shortages.
- Provide adequate funding for low decile schools to ensure that all children have access to high quality education.
* This story has been corrected. It previously quoted out-of-date figures on the earthquake damage to Christchurch houses.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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