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.
A secure and healthy home is the hub of family life and provides a foundation for building strong communities.
However, our housing system has stopped working for all Aucklanders. In recent years Auckland has experienced an unparalleled surge in the number of people (including whole families):
Teachers and other key workers are leaving Auckland because they cannot afford to buy or rent a home, and employers are reporting difficulties in attracting staff.
This is all symptomatic of a housing system that is broken.
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. Also, as the prospect of owning a home becomes increasingly unrealistic for a growing number of Aucklanders, renting has become a long-term, possibly permanent, reality for many families 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 rules are changed to minimise the disruptive effects on individuals and families of evictions at relatively short notice.
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
Health and housing, which creates substantial costs for individuals, families and society as a whole.
Our rental housing stock is typically in poorer condition than owner-occupied homes. We must 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.