Rising rents will push more Aucklanders onto the streets

The Government’s failure to fix the Auckland housing crisis will force more families onto the streets, the Green Party said today, with a new Statistics New Zealand report suggesting Auckland households are paying on average 10% more in rent every week than this time last year.

The latest Household Economic Survey (Income) shows that median household earnings from wages and salaries have increased just 1.8 percent in the last year, while the amount Auckland households are spending on rent has shot up by 10.9 percent.

“This survey follows close on the heels of reports from the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Salvation Army which warned of a desperate shortage of affordable housing in Auckland city,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Aucklanders don’t need a report or survey to tell them they’re having to hand over too much of their pay just to put a roof over their family’s heads – they already know because every week it’s tough to make ends meet.

“Many Aucklanders have already given up on ever owning a house and, for some, renting in the city is now also out of reach – because of that we’ve got growing numbers of people living in cars, garages and camping grounds.

“If that’s not a sign we’re in the middle of a horrific housing crisis, then I don’t know what is.

“The Government needs to do more – it needs to stop relying on private property developers to build more affordable housing and start a massive state-sponsored affordable-home building programme.

“The Government also needs to remove the tax incentives for housing speculators who are buying up houses all over the city, at the expense of young Aucklanders looking to buy their first home.

“Many, many Aucklanders just aren’t earning enough to live in the city without putting themselves under huge financial strain.

“Housing costs are too high, rents are skyrocketing and so are house prices.

“It’s all becoming unmanageable for the average Aucklander, and this Government is standing by and letting that happen,” said Mrs Turei.

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