57% of Auckland respondents to a Public Service Association survey have said they’d considered moving out of the city because of housing costs and 39% over commuting.
The association – New Zealand’s largest with 62,000 members, 18,000 of them in Auckland – sought members’ view in response to Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s taskforce on housing supply: “In the space of 2 hours we received close to 1500 responses and by the time the survey closed this number had grown to 2512.”
The association said of the response: “The speed of our members’ response and the heart-breaking stories they shared with us was powerful evidence that our members are deeply affected by the housing crisis. Our members also provided many suggestions for how things could be improved, ways to increase housing supply, bring down the cost of housing and improve the quality of housing.”
- 58% of respondents in single-income households with dependents pay at least half their income in housing costs, 22% pay two-thirds or more
- 51% of double-income households with dependents spend more than half their pay on housing costs, 24% spend two-thirds or more
Both home-owners & renters told of the budgetary stresses arising from high housing costs. In addition, renters told of the high levels of fear & anxiety associated with renting.
Many respondents reported living in housing that’s too expensive and often very poor quality: “They report having very limited choices about the housing they can afford to live in and the quality & location of the housing. Many would like to leave Auckland but can’t get jobs out of the city. Others want to be able to stay close to their children’s school or to family members, which often meant having to pay very high rent, often for sub-standard housing.
“Some older respondents reported they would like to downsize and move to other parts of Auckland but that they can’t find affordable housing to shift into, or this would lead to change in the quality of their lives.”
Some of the many points made:
- No laws support a long-term renting culture
- Auckland would benefit from having a mix of homeowners, long-term & short-term renters, equally respected socially and by the law
- The council needs to take an integrated approach to planning and ensure that affordable & quality housing is available across the city, so people can afford to live near their work, schools & their communities
- If more new housing was smaller and in a good location (with reasonable amenity and near good transport links), much of the buyer market would gravitate there instead of expensive 5-bedroom standalone houses on the peri-urban fringes
- Members expressed frustration about the complexities & difficulties in getting permission to build a small/tiny house, or live in housing structured in ways other than traditional subdivisions – such as communal/eco housing.
Mr Goff launched his taskforce on 20 February. It comprises council & central government officials and representatives of the private sector, and its objectives are to identify barriers & constraints to building more homes in Auckland at a pace & scale which meets the demand created by population growth, and identify options and make recommendations to overcome those barriers & constraints.
Mr Goff said Auckland was growing by about 900 people/week and needed 13,000 extra houses/year, but was building only about half that number.
The taskforce will make its recommendations public in May.
Attribution: PSA survey.