In the second of our blogs in the lead up to Election 2014 we examine where our politicians stand on housing and how these policies affect children. The first blog in the series was about child poverty in New Zealand.
By Deborah Morris-Travers, UNICEF NZ National Advocacy Manager.
Once upon a time, the Kiwi dream included home ownership. These days, renting a warm, dry home and having stable tenancy can often be as big as the dream gets. For many, home ownership is not considered possible.
In the absence of any regulation, housing costs – for buying and renting – rose steadily during the 1990s then soared in the period 2001-2008, and since then have only fallen back very slightly. High housing costs lead to families living in homes that are cold, damp, overcrowded and unsafe for children. They can also lead to families moving frequently, a situation that impacts negatively on children’s education and their sense of connection to their community.