The political debate over housing affordability shows no sign of letting up, with much of the talk centred on the cost of home ownership in Auckland.
Speaking to Firstline this morning Auckland mayor Len Brown says over the last year there has been a 21 percent increase in the house building sector, with around 4500 new houses being built each year, but that is a number Mr Brown concedes needs to rise to around 10,000 to meet the city’s needs.
“The way the increase has been going at the moment, and the market is hot, then I expect it will be up to the sort of average of 10,000 over the next six to nine months,” says Mr Brown.
The mayor says he endorses an “Auckland approach” to solving the housing crises, rather than Labour’s initiative for the Government to step in and start building homes, or the National proposal to free up land and remove the red tape around building.
“We’ve consulted with our community over the last two years and we have the Auckland plan which is delivering a quality compact city,” says Mr Brown.
“This is about building up as well as building out.”
Mr Brown says the priority must be on medium to low-level apartment development.
“[There are] young couples who want to get their first home, so they go into an apartment – a one, two or three- bedroom [apartment] – and elderly who are looking for a retirement home.”
Mr Brown says before discussion about building a house for $300,000 – as Labour has suggested can be done – takes place, it is necessary to define exactly what a house is.
“For some, their house is a one or two-bedroom apartment, for others it’s a four or five-bedroom mansion. It really depends on what your definition is. If you’re talking stand-alone house then you’ll be struggling to get one under $300,000, if you talk to the housing foundation they have got one or two options around that price range, but [it’s] not one or two-bedrooms stand-alone, it’s a challenge to find it in that sort of price range in Auckland now.”
Watch the video to see the full interview.