If you are retired and don’t own your home, you’re the cause of your own housing crisis

Is there no limit to the amount of stupid Newshub will show as they push and pimp the so-called housing crisis?

New research is showing older people who are forced to rent may be suffering poorer health outcomes compared with those who own, and live, in their own homes.

The Massey University study is highlighting the societal impact New Zealand’s housing crisis is having, particularly in the larger centres where unaffordability is growing.

Ninety-two-year-old Shirley Wright is not who you’d expect to be in a flatting situation, but living with 12 others, she couldn’t be happier.

“It’s much better living in an environment when you’re older than living alone because when you live alone you imagine all sorts of things,” Ms Wright says.

Ms Wright lives in Auckland’s Abbeyfield House. It’s a charity-run, shared accommodation and there are 15 around the country where volunteers help with the day-to-day running.  

For Ms Wright, the sense of community and togetherness the home offers is vital for her wellbeing and happiness.

“Sometimes you want to talk to someone; sometimes you need to go to the doctor, but one of the other residents is always happy to take you,” she says.

The new Massey University research shows poor health is a growing problem for elderly people who rent and live on their own.

“Renters are more likely to have lower levels of quality of life, and high levels of depression,” Massey University researcher Professor Christine Stephens says.

Older Kiwis enjoyed full employment, lower house prices, far better income to borrowing ratios to afford homes and somehow it is everyone else’s problem why they don’t own homes.

They even acknowledge that housing affordability is at an all time low…therefore when these older Kiwis were working and earning they had better opportunities than young people do today.

With housing affordability at an all-time low, they expect the problem will become more widespread, particularly given New Zealand’s ageing population.


This pimping of poverty and the so–called housing crisis is getting ridiculous.


– Newshub



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  • Jonty

    Media to start pimping poor MIA fathers…….you know the type, 6 kids to 4 different mothers…… They have done to death the solo mums with 4 to 10 kids, a cat, living in the Range Rover Disco & working on the 5th to 11th kid. Its just a matter of time before the leftwing media (The Nation etc) track down some absentee fathers having a whale of a time but needing more taxpayer funding to continue their breeding program. Stop the breeding and your halfway to solving Aucklands housing issues.

    • jcpry

      They will be working just enough not to pay child support, on the dole, living off the proceeds of crime or all of the above.

  • SirHoraceGentleman

    Cause or correlation?
    Poorer people have worse health.
    Poorer people are less likely to own their own homes.

    • David Moore

      I should have read comments before posting……

  • David Moore

    “Renters are more likely to have lower levels of quality of life, and high levels of depression,”

    There is a chicken/egg question here that the research doesn’t address. i.e. perhaps a person who has a lower quality of life and higher level of depression is more likely to be renting when retired.


  • Second time around

    Reading the story I conclude that companionship is better than living alone, not that living in a rental accommodation is worse for the health than living in ones own home. Something is missing, like all the relevant data.

    • jonno1

      Agreed, Ms (not Mrs?) Wright has made a choice that suits her. She may be independently wealthy, or may have gifted her wealth to her children; who knows? After all, it takes a special skill to be asset-free by your mid-60s, although granted it could dribble away by your 90s.

      Other renters may have invested in a business rather than a house, eg I have a tenant who owns a flourishing business and several commercial properties, and undoubtedly earns more than I do (I couldn’t afford their rent!). It’s a choice, and it suits them, just like Mrs Wright.

  • Just me

    Want a reality check article on poverty – try Wilhelmina Shrimptons assessment of the woman with 10 kids and no prospect of housing them. It was all dressed up with a bow blaming the government. No mention of a) the father(s) or b) planning the size of her family c) her job prospects, training and personal investment d) steps she’d taken to provide for her family herself e) the prioritising schooling over moving to Auckland for some nebulous reason.

    It’s the catch cry of the loser “it could happen to anyone!” Well it doesn’t happen to anyone… it happens to a disproportionately high number of people who don’t take personal responsibility.

  • Odd Ball

    “Renters are more likely to have lower levels of quality of life, and high levels of depression,”
    Not in my experience, most house owners I used to flat with, had a mortgage,& were stuck in a job they hated, but couldn’t/wouldn’t change, because of job insecurity & the constant need to pay the mortgage. The house also strangled their ability to move closer to better work opportunities.
    I had an Italian motorbike, they had a work van, I had takeaways, they had whatever they dragged out of the fridge & cooked up.

    • Sailor Sam

      Interestingly when my wife and I were renting, we actually managed to save a lot more money than when we owned property.
      We invested in real estate in NZ during the boom years of 2000- 2006 and bought our first house together in 2002 in a low socio-economic area of North Waikato.
      That was 3 houses ago.
      We have been mortgage free for 20 odd yeaars, and no we are not in our eightiess, I am 67, she is 66 years young.
      We have one rental, has had the same tenant for 12 years and returns us 10% nett.

  • Backdoor

    Surely it is time researchers learned the difference between ‘correlation” and “causality”? Remember – drowning has a positive correlation with the volume of ice-cream sold. Therefore can we conclude that ice-cream sales cause people to drown?

  • Maisie

    Sorry to burst Massey University bubble, but I am (probably what they call elderly, tho don’t admit it myself, I am a pensioner) I have over the last fifty years lived in my own home, and been married and lived with the hubby for that time. The last 11 years have suffered ill health from one condition or another. So what do they blame that on. I don’t fit their sob tale criteria

  • hookerphil

    “when you live alone you imagine all sorts of things” Yes, didn’t we all – especially when we were younger.

  • Michelle

    if they keep up these sob stories then they might find the number of viewers will drop down to none at all at this rate

  • R&BAvenger

    My folks were lucky enough to qualify for a Housing Corp mortgage for their first home built in 1959/1960. The interest rate was fixed at 3% for the 20/25 year term of the mortgage.
    Then in the mid 1970’s when rental income investment became popular, Mum could see the sense in jumping on the bandwagon and bought 2 flats as an investment.
    Later, closer to retirement they bought a place in Oz and sold the family home and eventually the 2 investment properties to become mortgage free.
    Recently the returned to NZ, using a portion of their house sale to purchase a right to occupy in a unit in a very mice retirement home. They are both happy and secure there.
    They did this through a combination of hard graft, regular saving and taking on some risk, but it has all paid off for them. They were both in fairly run of the mill jobs but made the most of their opportunities.

  • Wayne Peter McIndoe

    I rent and my wife and I are having a great time – enjoying life as we choose to live it – seems there are alot of generalisations going around with the whole issue of poverty

  • Disinfectant

    I have always been responsible and oened three houses in the past.

    I made a Resoutce Consent application and eventually won at huge cost on Appeal. But the Environment Court ordered that costs would lie where they fell. This cleaned me out.

    I then built a whole new business. The Christchurch earthquakes destroyed it and my finances again.

    Yet again I am building a new business.In order to do so I am having to rent.

    Fate is the hunter.

  • Digger

    Home ownership vs. renting is often down to a series of choices made by the individual/couple to best suit their situation. I don’t know why the media see renting as a problem and 100% home ownership as nirvana. There is no crisis – just a few “woe is me” folk who have alienated family, landlords and the state through their behaviour.