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Ed Sheeran

Overcrowding putting whanau at risk

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Auckland Action on Poverty is concerned many low income and homeless whānau won’t be able to properly observe the four-week lockdown.

Coordinator Ricardo Menendez March says rough sleepers, people in motels and people in overcrowded homes find it harder to self-isolate and already face a higher risk of getting and transmitting any virus.

He says experience from Italy shows intergenerational households are at greater risk.

In the New Zealand context means many Māori and migrant whānau, especially in places like South Auckland.

"Those Māori and Pasifika family members are the ones providing essential services like working in supermarkets or in health jobs, those are the people that are still out there and being exposed and often those jobs are low paid so my fear is if we do have a community outbreak and we have families living in overcrowded homes, it is those vulnerable and older members of the family that are going to be put at risk," he says.

 

Mr Menendez-March says some of the huge amount of money going into the COVID-19 response needs to be directed towards rebuilding stocks of public housing so that housing isn’t such a huge factor in any future crisis.

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