Our housing problem is a human rights problem

New Zealand’s housing problem is a human rights crisis of significant proportions, says a United Nations expert.

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to housing Leilani Farha who has been visiting New Zealand, has issued a statement about her findings.

She said a “more ambitious, innovative and courageous approach” is necessary to solve the housing problem.

The “human rights crisis” has impacted the most marginalised people in New Zealand, she noted.

These include Maori, Pasifika, those from the LGBT community, immigrants, single parents and people with disabilities.

Farha justified her findings by listing a litany of concerns.

“When one in every hundred people is homeless, half of whom are under 25 years; when thousands are living in vehicles or housed in motels provided by the State; when houses are in such disrepair that they cause otherwise preventable illness and disease; and when middle-income earners are finding it difficult to afford and access and or rent  a home, the result is not just a housing crisis, it is a human rights crisis of significant proportions,” she said.

“These conditions indicate not only violations of the right to housing, but also the right to health, security and life.”

In her opinion, Farha said the root of the issue was a speculative housing market that had been supported by successive Governments, who had promoted home ownership as a form of investment.


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News category: New Zealand.

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