New Zealand’s housing crisis is causing harm to the poorest and most vulnerable, especially children. Substandard housing has a big impact on children, affecting everything from their health and educational achievement, to their emotional well-being.

New Zealand’s housing crisis is a recipe for disaster for our poorest families.

Many families are forced to shift from place to place, or live in crowded, unhealthy conditions because of high rents.  They end up sharing with other families, or living in garages, caravans, crowded boarding lodges and campgrounds.  And when their options run out they can end up living in cars.  

Mouldy, damp housing makes children sick and can cause life-long harm.  Shifting around a lot, and living in crowded conditions, stops children learning.  Such stressful conditions are no way for children and families to live.

New Zealand children have a right to decent housing under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, which New Zealand signed up to more 20 years ago. Under UNCROC the New Zealand Government has a duty of care to provide decent housing for children and it is failing to meet this commitment.

Thousands of New Zealand children live in overcrowded, temporary, or run-down housing and the government spends millions subsidising this substandard accommodation through the Accommodation Supplement.  This is unacceptable and New Zealanders should expect better value for public expenditure.

Please support CPAG’s campaign for Healthy and Affordable Homes.