​Human Rights Commission points to insecure rentals in New Zealand

Dec 11, 2017 | Reports

Reported by Stuff, the Human Rights Commission report that the private rental market is forcing low-income Kiwis to move too often.In their briefing to incoming Justice Minister Andrew Little the Human Rights Commission (HRC) point to housing as a serious human rights issue that is likely stopping New Zealand meet its international obligations to uphold human rights.

They suggest an increase in secure social housing to combat New Zealand’s rate of “residential mobility” – where almost one in five Kiwis move every year. This is the highest rate of moving in the Western World, and close to twice the rate in the UK.

Most of this moving occurs in the private rental market, and many of the people moving are part of low-income families.

“Families with children, particularly one-parent and Māori and Pacific families, experience much higher levels of discrimination in the private rental market,” HRC officials write in their briefing.

Housing in general had developed into a “major human rights issue with multiple effects on people’s health and wellbeing,” particularly children.

A 2015 Government report showed 19.6 per cent of people moved every year. Almost one in three children in low income families moved early in their lives, compared to approximately one in five children in high income families.

The HRC note that current rental laws allow landlords to kick tenants out without cause and does not impose any responsibility on a landlord on vulnerable families.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has promised new legislation by the end of the 2018 that would get rid of no-cause terminations and limit rent increases to once per year.

But the HRC suggest more than just new rental laws: officials within the document suggest that for the most vulnerable the security provided by state housing is the best option.

The new Government has promised to stop the state-house sell off and build at least 1000 new state homes a year.

A separate briefing on the state housing situation released on Thursday suggested the amount of state homes already in the pipeline was not enough to meet current demand, with close to 6000 eligible families waiting for state homes as of September 2017, up 72 per cent over the previous two years.

In the view of the HRC, the problems in housing were so serious that New Zealand would need to seriously change things in order to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development goal 11: that all people have access to safe adequate and affordable housing by 2030.

New Zealand had signed up for this human rights commitment but was not yet on its way to meeting it.

Twyford has met with HRC since becoming entering Government and said there was plenty of crossover between their view and his.

“I really welcome his advocacy for a rights-based approach to housing. The coalition government believes that housing is a basic human right and we should treat it as such.”

The previous Housing Minister Nick Smith rejected criticism of his record in office on Thursday.

“What we do know is that in my period as Minister we grew the number of houses being built in New Zealand from 14,000 per year to 31,000 per year,” Smith said.

“I think you’ve got a new Government that is trying to make it look as bad as possible.”

Recent articles

Annual Report

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

CHA’s Annual Report for 1st July 2019 to 30th June 2020

Strategic Plan

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

CHA’s Strategic Plan 2018

Featured Network

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Residential Tenancies Act Community of Practice

Our Place

Our Place 2017

Our Place 2017

Case Studies

Media Releases

The Shift Aotearoa conference 2021 issues papers released

Community Housing Aotearoa’s three pre-conference work programmes are kicking off next week with initial zoom meetings in the Narrative Transformation and Housing System Settings streams scheduled for Tuesday 26 January at 10AM and 1PM respectively. Issues papers to...

News

CHA Level 4 Guidance Document 8 September

CHA Level 4 Guidance Document 8 September Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) has put together this document to consolidate information, contacts, resources and advice to help you in your day to day service delivery and decision making. It will be updated as new...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) COVID-19 Update 26 August 2021

Message from CHA's Chief Executive, Productivity Commission Submission - Include Housing in the Terms of Reference, CHA's support for members, sharing ideas and issues, Ministry of Health information and advice, Government support for your organisation, important...

Newsletters

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 30 August 2021

Message from Chief Executive, Support for Members, CHA Regional Event Series, #right2housing - Episode 2, Community Finance named as finalists at Sustainable Business Awards, Feedback sought on draft strategy and planning policy for housing measures, An update on the...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 18 August 2021

Community Housing Aotearoa COVID-19 Update, Message from CHA's Chief Executive, CHA's support for members, Sharing ideas and issues, Ministry of Health information and advice, Government support for your organisation. Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 18...

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 16 August 2021

Warm Welcome for CHA's new Chief Executive, CHA Regional Event Series, Masterclass Webinar on Place-based initiatives: Save the Date! Government Reinstates Operating Supplement. On-going Engagement Underway - HRC Framework Guidelines on the #right2housing in Action....

Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) Newsletter 3 August 2021

CHA Regional Event Series, Human Rights Commission Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home, Stories of Homelessness: When the Dominoes Start to Fall, Tenancy Management - Code of Practice, In the News, EVENTS, Upcoming Homestar v5 Events. Community Housing...

Submissions

Legislation

Reports

Te Whakaruruhau Report

The Te Whakaruruhau Report establishes the peak body services to the Homelessness Sector by Te Matapihi he Tirohanga mō te IwiTrust and Community Housing Aotearoa. The report can be found here: Te Whakaruruhau September 2020

Research

Following the money

http://www.buildingbetter.nz/publications/contestable_research_projects/Saville-Smith_2018_following_the_money.pdf

BRANZ research report on ‘exceeding the minimum’ released

This report looks at the question: why don’t landlords choose features that exceed the minimum building standards and what are the enablers to changing this? The aim is to identify the barriers to an improved rental stock and potential solutions to overcome the...

Community Housing Aotearoa

Contact Us

Contact Info

Level 11, Ranchhod Tower,
39 The Terrace /
102-112 Lambton Quay
PO Box 11543
Wellington 6142

+04 385 8722

support@communityhousing.org.nz

Follow On