CPAG welcomes HRC’s housing inquiry report: Calls on Govt to move beyond accountability to ambition

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes today’s housing inquiry report by the Human Rights Commission but says the recommendations alone won’t deliver the right housing to the right people.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission (HRC) has released its Housing Inquiry First Report: Strengthening Accountability and Participation in the Housing System as part of its inquiry into the right to a decent home in Aotearoa.

CPAG agrees with the HRC's recommendations towards ensuring greater accountability and oversight to guarantee adequate housing and in particular to the Crown's related obligations under te Tiriti O Waitangi are fulfilled.

However, CPAG says that by themselves these recommendations will not produce more houses for the people who need them most.

“Principle failures of housing policy over the past three decades are down to the heavy reliance by successive Governments on the market to provide adequate affordable housing” CPAG housing spokesperson Alan Johnson says. “Furthermore, a tax regime which has rewarded speculation and left capital gains untaxed has left us in a situation where our poorest – many of whom are children - are left reaping the consequences”.

According to the Ministry of Social Development Housing Register, in September 2021, 22,635 households have a ‘severe’ and/or ‘significant’, persistent housing need – a 213% increase in the last three years (up from 7239 households in September 2018).

“Accepting the recommendations put forward by the HRC are a good first step. But for things to really change and for New Zealand to address the housing crisis, the Government needs to do more than set up better accountabilities and opportunities for public participation,” Johnson says.

“Government should be far more ambitious in its social and public housing targets, more hands on in urban development and large-scale residential construction and introduce tax policies which attack speculation, land banking and wealth inequalities.”