New report highlights need for quality homes for young families

New Zealand families with children under the age of two are more likely to move house than families in other countries, according to a new report.

social housing Source: Seven Sharp

The findings are based on information collected in the University of Auckland-led longitudinal study, Growing Up in New Zealand, of almost 7000 New Zealand children.

The report found that just under half of the children had moved at least once, over a third had moved twice or more and a small number had moved house up to eight times before they turned two-years-old.

Housing tenure was the key feature associated with families with young children moving house in New Zealand. Families on the move were most likely to be shifting from one privately rented flat or home to another.

Growing Up in New Zealand Associate Director Dr Polly Atatoa Carr says the findings highlight the need to provide quality, stable and long-term housing solutions for young families.

"We know that there is currently a lot of attention on the housing situation in New Zealand, particularly for young families. Improving the security and affordability of the rental market may be an opportunity to protect families from undesired moves," Dr Atatoa Carr says.

The report found that children whose parents' relationship had ended or whose household income changed were more likely to have moved.

"As the children in this pivotal study grow up, and as our families continue to contribute their valuable information, we will be able to further describe how and why moving house affects behavioural, educational and health outcomes - positive and negative," says Dr Atatoa Carr.

"This will enable a better appreciation of the ability our current policies and programmes have to support families effectively, and to ensure all our children reach their full potential"