A secure and healthy home is the hub of family life and provides a foundation for building strong communities.
Auckland's future economic and social prosperity will be underpinned by our ability to provide housing that people can afford to own or rent, and in which they can feel at home.
Auckland is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Affordability is measured by the amount a household spends on housing-related costs, like rent or mortgage payments, heating and transport, whether they own or rent their home.
The crisis has resulted in serious social and economic consequences such as an unparalleled surge in the number of people (including whole families):
Key workers such as teachers and nurses are leaving Auckland because they cannot afford to buy or rent a home here. Employers are reporting difficulties in retaining and attracting skilled staff.
This is all symptomatic of a housing system that is not working for all Aucklanders.
It points to the need for more state housing, and other social housing, such as housing provided by community housing providers or housing for older people provided by the council, for example. Also, the prospect of owning a home is becoming increasingly unrealistic for a growing number of Aucklanders. Renting has become a long-term, possibly permanent, reality for many families, individuals and households.
We need to ensure that renting is not a second-rate option to home ownership, and that the rental system better serves Aucklanders.
Specifically, we must ensure that:
- private landlords, including their agents, fulfil their duties and responsibilities under tenancy legislation
- people can afford their rental costs.
The deteriorating quality of much of Auckland's current housing stock is a concern. The financial and systemic barriers to maintaining and improving its condition must also be addressed.
Cold and damp housing all too often results in poor health outcomes, as described in Healthy homes. This creates substantial costs for individuals, families and society as a whole.
Our rental housing stock is typically in poorer condition than owner-occupied homes, although the recent introduction of the Healthy Homes standards aim to lift the quality of rental homes. We must continue work to ensure landlords are better able to maintain and repair their properties.
Addressing these issues will not be easy. Bold initiatives are needed if we are to ensure that all Aucklanders can realise their basic human right to adequate housing.