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Social Factors and Housing Need in New Zealand.

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Wellington: National Housing Commission, No. 77/1,

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Davey delineates the dynamic nature of housing needs within a family across various life cycle stages.

The progression begins with the pre-child phase, characterised by minimal housing requirements as household members, often engaged in educational pursuits or career exploration, are likely to be renting with limited financial commitments. Moving into the child-bearing stage, families contemplate their first home purchase, often opting for smaller residences that provide stability for newborns. During the child-rearing phase, housing needs intensify, prompting families to seek larger dwellings to accommodate growing children and increased family size. Typically living on a single income, this stage entails heightened costs. The child-launching stage sees children leaving home, yet parents maintain their housing status, fostering a space for children to return and welcoming other visitors. In the post-child stage, parents seek smaller, more manageable, and cost-effective housing as all children have left home. Davey’s model carries significant implications for Māori whānau, given their younger age structure and larger family sizes. Accelerated childbirth shortens the pre-child stage crucial for accumulating financial resources to secure a first home. As the report notes, if Māori families start at a younger age, the likelihood of amassing sufficient resources for homeownership diminishes. Moreover, the larger size of Māori families and higher unemployment rates pose challenges to achieving homeownership, leading to potential ripple effects throughout the family life cycle. The application of Davey’s life cycle model to Māori contexts underscores the importance of addressing unique socio-economic factors influencing housing trajectories.

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