- Date published:
9:42 am, February 11th, 2015 - 18 comments
Categories: accountability, child abuse, child welfare, class war, crime, health, housing, poverty, Social issues - Tags: housing, poverty, salvation army, state of the nation
THE COUNTRY’S REPORT CARD
Child poverty – C-
Children at risk – C+
Children and violence – D
Educational achievement – C-
Infant mortality – C
Teenage pregnancy – A
CRIME & PUNISHMENT
Overall crime – C+
Serious crime – C-
Sentencing and imprisonment – C+
Recidivism – B-
WORK & INCOMES
Employment and unemployment – B
Wages and incomes – C
Benefits & pensions – C+
Living costs & food poverty – C+
Alcohol – B-
Drug Crime – C+
Gambling – C+
Housing availability – D
Housing affordability – C-
Housing related debt – C-
Does that look like the report card of a “brighter future”? Further from the above piece:
Progress in dealing with child poverty and serious crime have been given a fail mark by the Salvation Army, which has lashed the Government for a “woefully inadequate” response to Auckland’s housing crisis.
While some problems, including teenage pregnancy, prisoner recidivism and living costs received an improved rating on the previous year, housing availability and violence towards children got fail marks. Rates of reported child abuse dropped, but the number of recorded violent assaults rose 3.5 per cent to a record 5397 offences.
In other coverage, 3 News:
The Salvation Army has given a big thumbs down to the Government’s affordable housing and family violence initiatives in its annual report, out today.
This year’s State of the Nation report has given the Government a D score for a lack of affordable housing in Auckland and Christchurch, which it says is having an impact on the health and wellbeing of children and their families. Report author and social policy analyst Alan Johnson says, in spite of Prime Minister John Key’s denials, there is a housing crisis in Auckland. “We have people knocking on our door every day…literally with nowhere to stay.
The report says increasing house prices in Auckland pose a real threat to the region’s prosperity and even perhaps to New Zealand’s financial stability.
In terms of availability, it says housing being built in both Auckland and Christchurch is not affordable for those at the lower end of the markets, and that is leading to overcrowding and declining health. Major Campbell Roberts, a principal advisor for the Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, said the Government was taking action but not enough.
While the report acknowledges the difficulty in measuring child poverty, it has used the rate of children in benefit-dependent households to define it, which is down from 19 percent to 17 percent.
For the first time in a decade, the number of reported and substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect fell, although there were still 19,623 cases in the year ending 30 June 2014. There was a rise in criminal violence against children, by 3.5 percent to a record 5397.
And The Herald:
Salvation Army: Auckland’s worsening housing crisis putting incredible stress on families
The Salvation Army said this morning that the housing crisis in Auckland was adding “incredible stress” to the day-to-day lives of many families.
The charity’s annual State of the Nation report shows the housing shortage in the city worsened by a record near-4000 houses last year, as a pickup in home-building was “swamped” by a tide of new immigrants.
“There’s incredible stress for people in terms of housing, the impact on their rents, the impact on their ability to feel like they are providing for their families, the constant stress of shifting. Some of our families shift six times in a year or don’t know where they are living day-to-day. That adds incredible stress.”
The Salvation army said, overall, the report was a “good news bad news story”.
For one report that tries to “accentuate the positive”, see another piece in The Herald – State of the nation: Life getting better on most indicators.
Good work from the Salvation Army. It’s also important to note that, while the government are depending on them (and other charities) to be major providers of “social housing”, the SA have raised significant concerns about the plan. We need a real solution to the housing crisis, and we won’t get it from the Nats.