22 Aug | 2012
Auckland Council and the Government need to step-up if they want to avert the worst impacts of Auckland’s impending housing crisis, The Salvation Army says in a discussion paper on Auckland’s housing situation, called Adding It All Up: The Political Economy of Auckland’s Housing.
The paper was released by The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit on 23 August.
Author and the unit’s senior policy analyst Alan Johnson says urgent action is needed to counter 30 years of ingrained ideology and policy that has led to some Aucklanders growing rich through property speculation, while others live in overcrowded houses, in sheds and in caravans. In the past four years building consents have averaged less than half the number required to meet Auckland’s population growth, and this trend is expected to continue for the 20 years, resulting in a 90,000 unit deficit.
‘This problem will continue to grow in size if the present wishful approach of Auckland Council and the present wilfully negligent stance of Government continues,’ he says. The alternative is to see people move from Auckland, and perhaps New Zealand, in search of a better quality of life.
The discussion paper highlights the minimal gains from previous grand strategies such as the New Zealand Housing Strategy of 2005 and the 2003 Auckland Regional Affordable Housing Strategy, as well as the Hobbsonville project which promised 1000 affordable homes and delivered just 17.
An approach that recognises the multiple causes of the current problem needs to be taken, says The Salvation Army, if only to provide a starting point for developing longer-term and meaningful solutions.
The paper’s recommendations include establishing an affordable housing agency, funded by Auckland Council and the Government and guided by an Auckland housing plan to ensure future housing needs are anticipated and planned for.
To access the report, go to www.salvationarmy.org.nz/research-media/social-policy-and-parliamentary-unit/housing/adding-it-all-up/