Priorities for family housing

Download Priorities for family housing (July 2017)

CPAG will be releasing five documents on five key election topics that will look at how evidence based policy changes can reduce child poverty if implemented after the next election. As a measure of the impact of these policy changes in real life terms we are asking all political parties to commit to reducing the annual number of child hospital admissions for poverty related preventable diseases from 40,000 to 20,000 by 2022. The five key election documents focusing on topics of health, social investment, incomes, housing and education 

There are about 40,000 hospital admissions of children in New Zealand every year, with preventable illnesses that have links to poverty and unhealthy housing. The number of such admissions has increased since 2000. If our we had adequate systems for regulating the supply and condition of housing, the numbers of children admitted to hospital with illnesses associated with poverty would be reduced. So far, they haven’t been. Warm, dry, secure housing provides a foundation for children’s health.

The latest Household Income Report shows that families are suffering under the strain of housing costs, with half of all Accommodation Supplement recipients spending more than half their incomes on rental housing. Seven per cent of all children (75,000) living in private housing experience issues with dampness and mould, and live in houses that are hard to keep warm. This problem is more prevalent among children in beneficiary and sole parent families, who also suffer a lack of sufficient income.

If the newly elected government brings in policies to markedly increase the supply of state houses, introduces a system of regulating conditions for all rented homes, and addresses the income needs of low-income families, then we will have a New Zealand where all children can flourish.