17 Aug 2015

People desensitised to poverty - social worker

8:09 pm on 17 August 2015

People have become desensitised to the number of Māori and Pasifika families living in poor housing, garages and even cars, a former South Auckland social worker says.

The Child Poverty Action Group is calling for more support to be given to low income whānau to get into healthy and affordable homes.

It is launching a campaign to enforce the need for a Warrant of Fitness for rental housing.

George Makapatana, who has had 11-years of social work experience in South Auckland, said stories of vulnerable families living in garages or cars were met with shock years ago.

However, that had changed and people had become desensitised to bad housing conditions.

Mr Makapatana said healthy homes would mean fewer sick children, and that would mean fewer days off work for parents.

Breaking the cycle was essential, and a warm and healthy home should not be a privilege.

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