Auckland housing crisis makes more children and families homeless - report

The number of homeless children in Auckland is increasingly concerning, the Salvation Army says
Fairfax NZ

The number of homeless children in Auckland is increasingly concerning, the Salvation Army says

Almost half of all homeless in Auckland could be children sleeping outside, in cars, or in uninhabitable situations which could be fixed through more effective policy.

That's according to the second of three homelessness reports Invisible in the Supercity released by the Salvation Army on Wednesday.

The housing crisis in Auckland needed to be urgently addressed and government action was vital, the organisation said in the report.

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The number of children affected by homelessness was of most concern to the report's authors. The homelessness survey was carried out over three months and represented more than 1200 people, 568 of whom were children.

"Children in New Zealand should not have to live in unconscionable conditions. Government can create the policy settings necessary to reduce harm and ensure equity of access to adequate shelter," the report said. 

In New Zealand, commentators had noted a growing number of homeless families, particularly single-parent families, and an overwhelming number of children in New Zealand who could now be described as being severely housing deprived.

The report also showed 41 per cent of the survey participants hadn't engaged with the Ministry of Social Development.

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One of the key causes of homelessness in Auckland was due to exclusion from the rental market. The report blamed a lack of supply and said because landlords had so much choice in who they rented their houses to, a level of discrimination was more likely.

"Individuals and families in Auckland are experiencing significant hardship because Auckland is unable to adequately house its current population. This represents a failure by successive governments to address the issues," the report said.

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The report has aimed to highlight the realities of homelessness in Auckland. 

The purpose of this report has been to highlight some of the realities faced by individuals and families in regards to their housing needs in Auckland.

First Union general secretary Robert Reid said the high cost of housing meant more and more working people and their families were struggling. 

"The Sallies report reveals that house building isn't keeping up with population growth, especially in low income areas like Mangere and Otahuhu where there are an additional 13 people for every 1 home built."

The report recommended that rising rents in the city be addressed as well as increasing the supply of affordable housing. 

 

 - Stuff

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