CAN spokeswoman Jean Simpson in front of the space they are using to highlight Nelson’s housing issues. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Community group call for action on housing


Community Action Nelson is encouraging discussion about viable alternative solutions to large-scale developments.

Over the next few months, CAN is using a shopfront to raise awareness of what they say is one of Nelson’s most pressing issues, affordable housing.

CAN spokeswoman Jean Simpson says the great New Zealand dream of everyone owning their own home is simply no longer feasible.

“We believe that we must change our attitude to how we live in our cities and look at different options for what we want from our homes.”

She says for some years now, CAN has had a major focus on housing, which is very strongly linked to health and well-being.

“In our installation ‘What is a Home?,’ we intend to broaden the discussion around what constitutes a home, and how we can make housing more affordable.”

This exhibition is in the space on the corner of Collingwood and Hardy Streets. From this week, CAN is inviting people to drop in between 12pm and 2pm.

“We’re hoping to engage anyone with an interest in housing, whether this is millennial’s wondering how they will ever get onto the property ladder, through to seniors wanting to downsize and use their existing homes more creatively as well as people looking at more secure ways to make long term renting a viable option.”

Jean says they are planning panels with councillors, presentations from architects, talks from tenants’ advocacy groups and a whole range of other speakers and topics as we work to raise the level of discussion about this important topic.”

In 2018, CAN produced the report ‘What is a Home? A new definition of housing in Nelson Tasman,’ and presented this to Nelson City Council.

The report examined issues around housing that emerged from one of CAN’s workshops. CAN networked with representatives from the construction industry to identify barriers at council level that are slowing the process of affordable builds.