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.