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We’re working with others to make sure everyone has a warm, dry and secure home

Everyone should be able to live in a warm, dry, safe and healthy home. The Coalition government is starting to take a more hands-on approach to fix the housing crisis. But we know a lot more needs to be done.

Following the success of our collaborative campaign with Renters United last year, this year we teamed up with the team at White Man Behind A Desk to make an explainer video on renting laws in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Using comedy is a powerful way of making important complex issues - like fixing housing - easier to understand and accessible to a wide audience. This video has been seen by more than 50,000 people!

Volunteers gathering for the rough sleeper count

At the start of this year the Auckland Council and the Housing First collective took steps towards eliminating homelessness for in the city for good. In order to make the right policy decisions they needed up to date information about how many people are currently sleeping rough in Auckland.

In September about 40 ActionStation volunteers took part in Ira Mata, Ira Tangata the first ever region-wide census count, working in groups to talk with people living without shelter all across the Auckland region. This monitoring of how many people are homeless in our country, and a Minister responsible for ending homelessness, was something we campaigned for last year with the team at Gimme Shelter:

At the petition handover in May: Tenisha Kumar (AUT Human Rights), Laura O’Connell Rapira (ActionStation), James Crow (Gimme Shelter), Phil Twyford (Labour, now Minister for Housing), Jacinda Ardern (Labour, now Prime Minister), Shahd Mahmoud (AUT Human Rights) and Dr Desmond Darby (ActionStation volunteer) with images showing the OECD Ministers responsible for homelessness alongside the missing New Zealand Minister.

Last year, more than 600 of you shared your renting experiences in the People’s Review of Renting, a team effort between ActionStation and Renters United.

In July we got behind the ‘Plan to Fix Renting’ by Renters United, which recommends 36 changes to fix renting laws. These include ensuring people who rent have stable homes, so they can feel secure; fair rent, so homes are affordable; and safe and healthy homes, so people renting live healthy lives.

In October many in our community made submissions on the proposed changes to both the Renters Tenancy Act and the new Healthy Homes standards. Our stories of renting will help make renting fairer and healthier for everyone.

Laura with four people from community law and a giant cheque for $1500

And finally, we worked with Krissi from Community Law in Wellington to ensure that justice is accessible to everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand, including our homeless whānau.

Right now, too many people in our country - especially those living at the brink - are struggling to get the essential support and information they need about their rights when it comes to the law.

Things like:

  • What are my rights as a tenant or an employee?
  • How do I apply for ACC?
  • What mental health help am I legally entitled to?
  • What happens if I get into debt I can’t pay off?
  • What rights do I have when it comes to dealing with police?

We worked with Krissi and her team to raise funds from the ActionStation community to help make sure that every homeless shelter in New Zealand has a Community Law Manual so that people living rough, or sleeping on the streets, can have access to information about their legal rights. Manuals cost $150 each and together we raised enough money to donate 10 copies to homeless shelters!

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