New Zealand needs a huge boost in the number of social houses built each year to address the situation of families living in unsafe and unhealthy accommodation, the Salvation Army says.
It says the present national stock of 82,000 social housing units needs to be expanded to over 100,000 over the next decade.
That means building between 2000 and 2500 extra houses annually for at least the next decade, with almost half of them being in Auckland.
The Salvation Army says the Government’s social building programme, which has allocated $36 million a year for the next four years, will provide only 90 additional houses annually.
It says the Government will
need to increase its effort by at
least 20 times to meet the predicted need identified by the charity’s report, Taking Stock, released
Report author Alan Johnson says the assumption that most social housing tenants will be able to transition to other types of accommodation is not borne out in practice.
He says the reality for most tenants is their circumstances do not improve through life and some will remain in need of social housing support.
The report identifies 150,000 of working age and 190,000 over-65s who form the base of people who will need social housing.
“Not all these people will require social housing; some will be able to find adequate housing with the support of the accommodation supplement or family,” Mr Johnson said.
“However this still leaves a residue of families who will need social housing, requiring a social housing build of between 2000 and 2500 a year.” NZN