Report confirms concerns about housing for disabled people

Report confirms concerns about housing for disabled people

May 11, 2021

The Disability Rights Commissioner welcomes a report into the unmet housing needs of disabled people in Aotearoa saying it raises many important issues faced by the disabled community.  

This is in response to the release of "Where will we Live in the Future? Tā tātou kainga e noho ana ki hea ā te wā heke mai"by the Community Housing Collective. 

“I acknowledge the huge amount of work that has went  into the report by the Collective,” said  Paula Tesoriero”many of the stories echo ones I hear in my work” 

Paula Tesoriero says the report shares the view of the Human Rights Commission’s position that housing be seen in government policy as a human right. 

“The human right to adequate housing is recognised in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in multiple international human rights treaties that Aotearoa is signatory to. 

“This is especially relevant for disabled people who face many challenges – such as insecurity of tenure and poor housing design. This report highlights many of these issues.  

Figures from the 2018 Census show disabled people were more likely to live in lower quality homes that are cold, mouldy, damp and unsuited for their needs, said Ms Tesoriero. 

The differences are more pronounced for those in rented homes, and disabled people are more likely to live in rental properties rather than their own. 

Of disabled New Zealanders aged 15–64 years, 47 per cent lived rented homes, compared with 35 per cent of non-disabled people. 

Just under a third (31 per cent) lived in mouldy homes, compared with a fifth of non-disabled people, and 40 per cent rated their housing affordable, compared with 50 per cent of non-disabled people. 

These are statistics I use regularly to highlight the issues disabled people face”.  

 “I also welcome the report’s comments about universal design. I would like to see a target of 100 percent universal design in all government new builds".  

It’s not just about the design of housing, it’s about creating an accessible world with infrastructure that supports disability and diversity through urban planning”. 

“As a social indicator housing is something we need to do better in. The statistics on housing are cause for concern which must be addressed. 

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