Study re­veals home truths


Get­ting lower-in­come fam­i­lies into home own­er­ship won’t just ease the hous­ing cri­sis – it will have so­cial, health and eco­nomic ben­e­fits across the board, new re­search says.

The Hous­ing Foun­da­tion has gath­ered a raft of in­ter­na­tional stud­ies show­ing how get­ting lower in­come fam­i­lies into their own homes has ben­e­fits for men­tal and phys­i­cal health and job se­cu­rity, while lowering crime and wel­fare de­pen­dency.

Foun­da­tion gen­eral man­ager Paul Gil­berd said get­ting out the tens of thou­sands of peo­ple stuck in of­ten sub­stan­dard rental poverty traps and wel­fare de­pen­dency was the key to solv­ing the hous­ing cri­sis.

‘‘If peo­ple can’t move along the hous­ing con­tin­uum, then there’s no space for oth­ers be­hind them. We need to get the blocked hous­ing sys­tem flowing again,’’ Gil­berd said.

‘‘When peo­ple don’t own things, they don’t look after them. The de­cline of home own­er­ship is not good for New Zealand society at all lev­els.’’

Mod­el­ling done by eco­nomic re­search firm BERL for the foun­da­tion also shows mov­ing ren­ters into homes could save the gov­ern­ment mil­lions in hos­pi­tal, jail and wel­fare bills, while boost­ing jobs and the tax take.

Mov­ing 1000 so­cial hous­ing ren­ters into home own­er­ship could pro­duce a net fiscal sav­ing of $11.1 mil­lion over 15 years.

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