Homelessness accelerates between censuses

Jun 6, 2016 | News

At least one in every 100 New Zealanders were homeless at the latest census in 2013, compared with 1 in 120 in 2006, and 1 in 130 in 2001, say University of Otago, Wellington (UOW) researchers.

UOW researcher Dr Kate Amore, from the Health Research Council-funded He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme, measured the ‘severely housing deprived’ population.

“Homelessness is worsening in New Zealand in terms of both numbers and as a proportion of the population. This upward trend accelerated between the 2006 and 2013 censuses, compared with the 2001 and 2006 period,” Dr Amore says.

“If the homeless population were a hundred people, 70 are staying with extended family or friends in severely crowded houses, 20 are in a motel, boarding house or camping ground, and 10 are living on the street, in cars, or in other improvised dwellings. They all urgently need affordable housing.”

Severe housing deprivation (homelessness) 2001-2013

Table 1 Count and proportion of the census subject population identified as severely housing deprived, not severely housing deprived, and housing deprivation status cannot be determined, 2001-2013(1)

Category

2001

2006


Count

%

Count

%

Count

%

Severely housing deprived

28,649

0.8

33,295

0.8

41,705

1.0

Not severely housing deprived

3,639,845

97.2

3,942,626

97.1

4,109,534

96.6

Housing deprivation status cannot be determined

76,038

2.0

83,953

2.1

103,356

2.4

Total

3,744,534(2)

100.0

4,059,876

100.0

4,254,594

100.0

Notes:

(1)According to Statistics NZ confidentiality protocols, figures in this table have been random rounded to base three, then unallocated children in non-private dwellings have been proportionally added to each category (see methodology in Amore et al. (2013)). The resulting figures are not rounded because the latter component represents proportions, rather than counts of individuals.

(2)The total for census subject population for 2001 was misprinted in Amore et al. (2013).

Data source: Statistics New Zealand

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