The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) will launch a campaign in Otara today calling for urgent action on providing healthy and affordable homes.
CPAG will also call on the Government to introduce and enforce a Warrant of Fitness for rental housing and provide a subsidy to keep rentals up to a healthy standard.
It also wants the Government to conduct an urgent review and update the Accommodation Supplement.
Health spokesperson Professor Innes Asher says, "There are major, systemic problems with the housing market in New Zealand, which would take many years to sort out even if the government had a comprehensive strategic plan for housing. But children can get sick within weeks or even days living in unhealthy accommodation. They cannot wait. We need urgent action to provide healthy and affordable housing for families now."
CPAG has outlined that thousands of families are forced to move frequently or live in crowded and unhealthy conditions due to high rents and low income.
Spokesperson, Frank Hogan said, "Most poor families live in private rental accommodation. With the current housing shortage, they have been pushed right to the back of the queue for homes and are ending up with the worst properties."
The health of children is put at serious risk in poor housing conditions and not only impacts them physically but affects their educational achievement and emotional well-being.
CPAG says such stressful conditions are no way for children and families to live.
Frank Hogan adds that New Zealand children have a right to decent housing under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, which New Zealand signed up to more 20 years ago.
"Under UNCROC the New Zealand Government has a duty of care to provide decent housing for children and it is failing to meet this commitment.”
Te Kāea reporter Wepiha Te Kanawa will have more on the launch of the campaign tonight on Te Kāea at 5:30pm.