27 Jul 2010

NZ failing to meet basic housing standards - commission

12:43 pm on 27 July 2010

New Zealand is failing to meet some basic human rights standards on housing, according to the Human Rights Commission.

The commission's report on the right to an adequate standard of living has found social housing provision is inadequate and too many households are paying too much for rent.

Monte Cecilia Housing Trust in Auckland receives about 60 calls a month from families with an accommodation crisis.

The trust's housing manager, Elaine Lolesio, says rents have risen massively in the past year, along with unemployment.

"In South Auckland, we are still seeing overcrowding, we are still seeing families languishing in a lot of private rentals which they cannot afford. They come into rental arrears, then they move into garages or with relations - moving from pilar to post."

Ms Lolesio says there is nowhere for people to go because the waiting list for state housing is too long.

The commission's report, which is part of an overall review of human rights in New Zealand, says living standards are compromised when households pay more than 30% of income on rent.