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Poorest New Zealanders struggling to pay for housing

Many New Zealanders are increasingly struggling to pay for the roof over their heads, according to the latest overview of poverty trends, the Green Party said today.

New Zealanders on the lowest incomes are now spending 51 percent of their income on housing, up from 29 percent in 1990, according to the latest Bryan Perry Household Incomes Report out today.

“Housing costs are eating into families’ budgets at a rate we’ve never seen before,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

“These figures today show that the housing crisis is hurting our poorest people the most. That, combined with low incomes, is a recipe for growing poverty.

“It’s clear that to solve the housing crisis we need a new government that will build thousands of affordable homes, crack down on speculators, and tax property fairly.

“The Green Party will do all of that in government, as well as lift the incomes of people who are earning the least by 20 percent.

“New Zealanders living in cold damp housing know that they are paying too much to live where they are, yet they are powerless to change it.

“Only Government can fundamentally improve how our housing market operates. But this National Government has shown no commitment to doing that, even after nine years of failed policy.

“The report also notes that ‘the 2016 sample is ‘light’ on sole-parent households and on beneficiary households with children (both around 20-25% lower than expected).’”

“This is the Government’s main report into household incomes. We would expect a through and complete picture. For the Government to not include a proportionate number of sole-parent and beneficiary households is simply not good enough. Despite the omission, these results are damning,” Mrs Turei said.