Future proofing social housing

Social housing is an important means for providing affordable housing for those who are not able to afford private housing and fills a fundamental human right.

Currently there is a serious lack of accessible housing for disabled people or older people with mobility impairments, forcing people into unsuitable housing that doesn’t meet their needs.

Aging and mobility impairment are strongly linked. As we have an aging population, over the next 40 years, up to  45% of our elderly may need accessible housing.

Rebuilding or retrofitting houses to cater for this growing sector is an extremely expensive undertaking. There is a strong push in Christchurch for more accessible housing to allow for aging to take place without being forced to shift.

Currently Auckland council is considering ensuring 5% social housing are accessible, but this goal is woefully short of what is needed .

The government is investing $2.9 billion in new social housing. I share the concerns of CCS Disability Action that the government is missing an opportunity to get it right for disabled and elderly.

The government need to recognise access to accessible housing as a fundamental human right for disabled people and commit to ensuring new social housing is built to universal design principles .


3 Comments Posted

  1. Yes, unfortunately we are talking about housing.

    There is massive vested interests in the status quo. The housing loans make huge profits for the bankers, the sales at inflated prices make huge profits for the realtors, the appreciation makes massive under-taxed capital gain for the investors and the people who actually LIVE in them are under-represented in the government of the day, which listens to money far more attentively than to people. Which given Key’s roots makes all too much sense.

  2. The government also needs to realise that providing reasonable quality, accessible housing now will save future governments significantly more money in medical treatment, provision of carer support, etc, all resulting from inappropriate housing leading to physical (and mental) stress, accidents and long term injury.

    Unfortunately we are talking about housing. If these people were working in these houses rather than trying to live in them, OSH and similar rules would require the houses to be adapted properly for their needs.


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