Winter highlights our critical need for housing

NZ is in the midst of a housing crisis that shows no signs of going away.

An increasing number of people are struggling week to week to afford the roof over their head. Too many in our community go without this basic need and are forced to sleep rough in cars or on the streets. 

There are many reasons behind the headlines we read in the media. One is NZ has not built enough houses for the people already living in the country, let alone the thousands of migrants coming to live here each year. Another is that runaway house prices and soaring rents mean that home ownership or securing a suitable home to rent is not just fiercely competitive but simply unattainable for those on lower incomes.  

Although the housing issue doesn’t just re-emerge at this time of year, the winter months are certainly when it is talked about the most. Families do not become homeless in June more than any other month. But those of us with warm houses to retreat to are more aware of the plight of others when the weather is cold and the nights are long.

As a registered community housing provider, the Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) provides homes for families that are homeless or at risk of being homeless as well as older people without assets.

One of the families we have helped over the past year is Rachel, her daughter and grandson. Before moving into one of our housing communities Rachel was paying three quarters of her income on rent. Their house was unsuitable for the kids and she was struggling to make ends meet. Having so little left after the rent was paid meant she had to constantly make choices. Now she is in a warm, affordable and secure home and the difference this has made to her family is very clear to see. 

Unfortunately, Rachel’s story is shared by too many families throughout NZ. There is a critical lack of suitable and affordable housing for families on low incomes.

In response to this, CMM is making more community housing available in Christchurch & Blenheim so that more vulnerable individuals and families can have a place of their own.  It is a combination of permanent and emergency housing that will provide them with what they need most – a warm, affordable and secure place to call home. 

Please consider how you can partner with us to house those in need this winter. Donate today to our Winter Appeal and make a difference to a family in need of housing in our community. 

Ngā mihi nui,

Jill Hawkey
Executive Director

*name changed to protect privacy