Affordable housing

Will Twyford complain about Auckland housing when Phil is in charge?

Simon Collins runs a hit piece on housing for Phil Twyford, but Twyford has no answers.

The evidence continues to build showing the intransigence of Auckland Council.

New homes and sections created under the Auckland Housing Accord have dropped below target as the building industry struggles to find extra labour, materials and equipment.

The latest quarterly report shows that 30,389 new homes have been consented or sections created since the accord between Auckland Council and the Government took effect in October 2013.

That’s 78 per cent of the target of 39,000 new homes and sections due by the end of the three-year accord on September 30.

Only 6605 new homes and sections were consented in the six months to March, just 39 per cent of the target of 17,000 for the full final year of the accord to September.

There is always a seasonal lull during the summer holidays, especially for new sections.

But 5674 new dwelling and sections were consented in the same six months last summer, or 44 per cent of the 13,000 target for the year to last September.

Read more »

Second and third generation homeless? Stop taking the p***

The poverty pimpers are now starting to take the piss with their ever-increasing tales of woe.

Emergency housing provider DePaul House says it has saved a baby from being born “third-generation homeless” after its mother came to it for help.

The service, on Auckland’s North Shore, said the number of people asking for accommodation had nearly doubled from last year.

Manager Jan Rutledge said one young woman, who was seven months pregnant, had been squatting in a derelict house with no electricity.

The baby would have been born in the house if its mother had not been referred to DePaul House by another emergency housing provider, she said.

“It would have been, if they hadn’t presented to us and had some great wraparound support offered, not just from us but from another provider who referred them through to us.

“We have every expectation that we will be able to house this young family but it is concerning that she’s come through to seven months pregnant without any kind of antenatal care.”

DePaul House received a lot of referrals from hospital social workers trying to find homes for pregnant mothers or young vulnerable parents, Ms Rutledge said.   Read more »

Key lynched for pointing out that there are 1000 Auckland places to buy under $500k

Don’t the Media party and opposition just get their panties in a bunch when some inconvenient facts emerge about what ever crisis they are attempting to push.

The Prime Minister says he’s found plenty of homes for sale in Auckland for less than half a million dollars.

John Key made the comment after the government unveiled a policy that could force councils to zone more land for housing, in the hope of cooling rising prices, especially in Auckland.

Mr Key says while there are people who simply can’t afford to buy, he found plenty of cheaper homes on the website Trade Me.

“There’s nearly 1000 properties that are under $500,000 and quite a lot of them are much cheaper than that, they’re in the order of $300,000 and $350,000, again – go and have a look.”

Checkpoint with John Campbell searched for houses only on Trade Me between $300,000 and $350,000 and found 141 properties.

Read more »

If you are retired and don’t own your home, you’re the cause of your own housing crisis

Is there no limit to the amount of stupid Newshub will show as they push and pimp the so-called housing crisis?

New research is showing older people who are forced to rent may be suffering poorer health outcomes compared with those who own, and live, in their own homes.

The Massey University study is highlighting the societal impact New Zealand’s housing crisis is having, particularly in the larger centres where unaffordability is growing.

Ninety-two-year-old Shirley Wright is not who you’d expect to be in a flatting situation, but living with 12 others, she couldn’t be happier.

“It’s much better living in an environment when you’re older than living alone because when you live alone you imagine all sorts of things,” Ms Wright says.

Ms Wright lives in Auckland’s Abbeyfield House. It’s a charity-run, shared accommodation and there are 15 around the country where volunteers help with the day-to-day running.   Read more »

Auckland Council goes to war against critics

The desperados at Auckland Council can’t help but act belligerently. They’re also becoming a bunch of angry wasps.

So last week Labour and the Greens ganged up with National and Act to clearly state that Auckland’s city limits have to be abolished. It’s clear Auckland Council needs to dispense with it and do as it’s told. Everyone is against them.

But they can’t. Because they think they are right and they think everyone else is wrong. And you can all stuff off because they spent loads of time dreaming about their compact city and they bloody well should get it.

As always the filthy PR machine swings into action and waddayaknow they are trying tell us all that they do know best and the RUB is ok.

And here is what they say…

“Auckland Council is busting the myth that there is a constraint on building beyond Auckland’s current Metropolitan Urban Limit (MUL).”

“23,000 homes already planned outside the MUL

Over the past three years Auckland Council has approved developments outside of the MUL that could provide up to 23,000 new homes. This is possible through Special Housing Areas legislation, but it is also part of council’s strategy for the forward supply of urban land.

The Unitary Plan could open up 11,000 hectares outside the MUL.   Read more »

Removing the urban limit is a good start, now axe the FULSS

Abolishing Auckland’s stupid city limits is not going to work unless the Government also climbs into Local Government reforms.

There is no question that the city limits have to go. For a city as small as Auckland (530sq km vs Sydney -1800 sq km or New York at 8,000 sq km) the idea that it needs to be compacted is bat-shit crazy.

Only a handful of utopian idealists think it’s a good idea.

So getting rid of the Urban Limit through RMA reforms is ‘A’ for Awesome!

But the Council has a back door opportunity to stop the city expanding. And that is through supply of infrastructure.

No pipes or roads – no new subdivisions. Easy.   Read more »

Let’s revisit what the NZ Initiative said about housing in November 2015

The NZ Initiative hits the nail on the head. This is what needs to be done to fix Auckland’s problems.

It was back in November 2015 but it bears repeating.

Our own research leaves no doubt that planning rules are a root cause of the housing crisis, particularly in Auckland but not only there.

The situation is made worse by the way new infrastructure is financed. Councils, which regularly cop a lot of the blame, are operating under planning and finance rules that are simply not conducive to residential development. They have no financial incentive to promote it – quite the reverse is true.

We believe this view is more widely shared across the political spectrum than first meets the eye. But although politicians have been blaming planning rules for the high cost of housing for a decade now we are still waiting for genuine policy changes that are needed to restore New Zealand’s housing affordability.

Because this is a national housing crisis that has grown over decades and under governments of different hues, playing political blame games is pointless. You cannot solve problems in retrospect. We need to face the facts and work together for real reform.

We believe any attempts to reform the Resource Management Act (RMA) must protect the act’s environmental principles.

However, this should not stop us from changing the way councils regulate residential development under the RMA.

In our view, there are three issues to be addressed.   Read more »

Debt to income idea is dumb

I like it when I’m right. I feel a tingly sensation that causes a smug smile.

A few days back I said the debt to income idea was dumb. Because it is.

And I said that its bad for property projects. Turns out others all think the same.

Reserve Bank debt-to-income caps would be disastrous for house buyers and the residential and building sector, says a real estate chief.

Connal Townsend, Property Council chief executive, said any new restrictions would worsen housing affordability and his organisation was “terribly concerned” about it.

Last week, the Reserve Bank raised the possibility of introducing debt-to-income ratios after it warned the Government that resurgent house prices were a risk to the economy.

Governor Graeme Wheeler said the average house price in Auckland was nine times larger than the average income, making it one of the least affordable metropolitan markets in the developed world.    Read more »

Government to go feral on Auckland Council, at last

Finally, the government is talking of going feral on Auckland Council.

The blame game between central and local government over the housing crisis is getting personal.

Housing Minister Nick Smith has attacked an Auckland Councillor, calling him a “Nimby” for blocking a housing development.

A corner in Herne Bay is a small battlefield in the war between the Government and Auckland Council over how to speed up housing supply. The Government wants 70 apartments built there, but Auckland Councillor Mike Lee is trying to stop it, and that’s got Dr Smith angry.

“Mike Lee is guilty of Nimbyism,” said Dr Smith.

The Government has designated the site of the old Gables pub a “special housing area”. That allows for fast-tracked development, with between four to seven of the apartments “affordable housing”. It’s about getting more housing into inner-Auckland’s “urban intensification”.   Read more »

It’s supply not demand

Auckland’s housing issues can’t be solved by fiddling with demand.

Taxes and high LVRs don’t work, and the proof already exists.

That’s because demand outstrips supply so much that even with the possibility of tax, or with a high LVR, the growth curve is so large it negates the effect. There is still plenty of cash to be made on the upside.

Demand levers won’t change a thing. Only supply will.

Which brings me around to it. So far supply hasn’t mustered any more capacity than 8,000 dwellings.  It’s possible that the property industry is peaked out on capacity.

Except that in 2003-2005 the supply curve did hit 12,000 dwellings.

The main difference was that the majority of it was standalone houses on sections. Whereas now there is a vastly greater proportion of intensive housing.

Hint: greenfield development is the easiest way to increase supply.

The Government pretends to want it with talk of SHAs but isn’t really doing much more than sabre rattling.   Read more »