Housing children and youth: Ensuring Aotearoa’s future get the best start possible

In this 5 year research programme, funded by a grant from from the MBIE Endeavour Research Programme fund to lead a project bringing together world-leading experts to ensure that Aotearoa’s housing support system is sustainable, effective and whanau-centred.

No place is more important to children and youth than their home. Yet, each night in Aotearoa, more than 7,000 young people experience homelessness. A similar number of children are separated from their parents because of severe housing deprivation and over 400,000 are in housing supported by the government. However, Aotearoa's housing support systems are focused on adults. The effect of inadequate housing on tamariki and rangatahi and their experiences within the housing support system are poorly understood.   

Family disconnection due to housing instability is detrimental to belonging and whanaungatanga. Supportive relationships with parents, whānau, and the wider community are important protective factors for children and young people. The voices of children and young people must be heard and their stories understood to address their housing needs effectively.  

Currently, there is a gap in the research for how the housing support system can best ensure the wellbeing of young people so that they are set on pathways to future prosperity and success as adults. This programme will create evidence to support the development and realisation of housing support systems that improve outcomes for tamariki and rangatahi.   

This programme brings together world-leading experts on housing, communities, big data and children, and young people. We will explore the multi-faceted topic of the housing support system, which will be the first time such comprehensive research has been conducted on the topic in Aotearoa. This evidence will be used to innovate and implement a new, equitable housing support system grounded in Te Tiriti o Waitangi that provides holistic, long-term outcomes for children and youth

For further information, please contact Professor Nevil Pierse nevil.pierse@otago.ac.nz.