Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Shared Living, Shared Strength: Housing and Single Parenthood

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posted on 2021-11-15, 06:51 authored by Tam, Wo Kwan (Maria)

The number of single parent families in New Zealand is increasing. This household type is forecasted to represent twenty percent of all families in the country by 2021. Despite the growing concern over these families, the majority of New Zealand’s existing housing stock fails to address their housing needs.

Single parent families often hold the following housing needs as important – affordability, accessibility to services, a sense of community, safety and security, and a positive image. The research investigates how housing in New Zealand can be designed to fit more closely to these needs.

A review of architectural literature and leading practice is conducted to find the relevant architectural ideas that can help to address these needs. Ideas include alternative housing strategies (i.e. work-live arrangements, cohousing, mixed-use and integrated living), concepts for the creation of social space, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), guidelines for designing safer homes for children, methods of creating barrier-free design and approaches to reducing operating costs in housing.Through a reinterpretation of these ideas, a new housing exemplar is designed within the context of Wellington City. The research acknowledges that the design in this thesis is only supported in theory. An actual construction of a design with similar parameters is required in order to test and consolidate the ideas further. Nevertheless this thesis demonstrates how housing design can begin to service single parent families in New Zealand.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Brand, Diane; McIntosh, Jacqueline