Sentry Page Protection
New Zealand Specific Healthcare Question 7
There is a housing crisis for Maori and some are sleeping in their cars. What do you think are the causes of this?
Affordability and access to housing are the main causes which have lead to the housing crisis in Maori. The cost of renting, let alone purchasing a house is now higher than it has ever been. Now, more than ever, there is a huge mismatch between income and housing prices, particularly in major centres such as Auckland.
With house prices increasing rapidly, landlords are selling more frequently in order to reinvest their money elsewhere, which has left vulnerable groups without housing. Losing their housing due to this issue may be a regular occurrence for some individuals/families.
Rental properties also require a bond which means that producing this money upfront when on a low income is challenging, especially if this type of money needs to be paid every 6-12 months, due to the landlord selling the property.
The current changes in legislation to ensure that rental properties are not damp, are sufficiently insulated and ventilated mean that rent prices have increased to reflect these new costs. In many older houses, these costs would be high.
In addition to this, there are limited numbers of state (social) houses available due to the sale of a considerable number of state/social housing properties by the government. These houses are not typically built for larger families. It is not uncommon for Maori to live with extended family which means that these families must wait longer to find appropriate accomodation.
While work and income New Zealand does offer a loan which can be paid back over time so that individuals can inhabit motels etc., many are not prepared to commit to this type of debt, especially if they are already in debt elsewhere.