Len Brown isn’t helping Labour’s cause on affordable housing

Labour launched their affordable housing policy to much fanfare and not much scrutiny earlier in the year. The useful idiots all cried out that this was salvation and then people started to look at the detail…the policy has been found wanting…

Meanwhile Len Brown is causing outrage with the draft annual plan that is has left and right alike outraged at his proposals for teeny tiny block of tacky apartments in certain quarters. All this while lives in a leafy gated community with plenty plus land around his house.

Ana Samways in her Sidewipe column highlights the farce that is Labour’s and now Len Brown’s affordable housing policy:

There is no such thing as affordable housing in Auckland: Radio Live’s Duncan Garner challenged Mayor Brown to show him Auckland’s affordable housing. This is what he came up with. The high Merchant Quarter apartment block in New Lynn and two grotty units.  The cheapest apartment in the 14 storey block is $246,500 for a 47sqm one-bedroom unit without a balcony. A car park is an extra $31K and the average body corp fees average $1786 a year. Breaking it down – if you can get a mortgage, you probably will have a car so you are really looking at $277,000. With a 5% deposit (10% isn’t realistic anymore) of $13,500, according to the Westpac mortgage calculator your repayments would be $381 per week plus $35 body corp, which makes it $416 a week. If you are wanting somewhere bigger to safely swing your feline (or maybe have one small quiet child) then there are other options. A more spacious 67sq m two-bedroom with a balcony and car park is $387,000 and will cost you $567 a week. As for the other two properties, they weren’t stand alone, they were semi-detached units and the upbeat tour was just Garner being politeness. They were awful and the only person who would buy them would be a slum landlord.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Maybe Shearer should spend his time better by releasing the much awaited for GCSB tape… Or has his mate, Mr. Roofus Painter still got it?

  • Gazzaw

    The Draft Annual Plan has come at a very unfortunate time for Len in election year. The only problem is that there are no effective opposing voices on the council and there’s no sign of a credible right wing mayoral candidate on the horizon.

    • Patrick

      Maybe Rodney Hide could stand & fix the abomination he created.

  • peterwn

    So what should Auckland be doing to house an ever increasing population? It seems to me that current planning rules are more to protect the interests of people already living in Auckland and to appease greenies. A young person would probably prefer a ‘shoebox’ apartment close to town (or a station with lots of trains eg Papatoetoe/Middlemore/Otahuhu) than a small flat with a bit of land in Pukekohe or so together with a long commute. Are the existing shoebox apartments in Auckland CBD really slum – or are the residents happy upwardly mobile people?

    My assessment of the squealings at Len’s proposals is people in leafy suburbs trying to tell ‘other people’ how they cannot live. Many of these ‘other people’ have very little political influence. Has anyone tried to reach out to them to ascertain their desires? Len and co are quite right to put radical ideas on the table for discussion.

    • Mr_Blobby

      A typical Muppet response, you Muppet. Without going into to much details but looking at the above proposal where you pay an extra $31,000 for a car park think about that $31,000 for a concrete pad, really. Now what are the chances that the plans include a car park for every resident likely to live there, OK how about 1 car park for every unit, No. Given the not really useful or convenient, not to mention efficient, uneconomic, heavily subsidized public transport, that nobody really wants to use. Where are the residents going to park their Motor vehicles.

      Now getting back to the inner city how long does the average person live in the city before the novelty wears off. My advise to any one contemplating moving into an apartment is to 1. try find a building where HNZ has not brought into it and moved there social rejects in and 2. Rent rather than buy, initially to see if it is really for you.

      This idea of shoe boxes doesn’t work for social housing because apart from the rabbit breading that goes on they all have motor vehicles and sky TV. Where will they park all the car wrecks.

      • peterwn

        Which Muppet – Statler or Waldorf? In times gone by, some people who were not at the bottom of the heap have been between a rock and a hard place with housing. Government policies shrank the private rental market – landlords sold off rental properties to owner-occupiers and the only finance they could get was three year ‘solicitors’ mortgages at high rates – they could not access bank or insurance company long term finance because of Government restrictions and policies. Banks would lend their limited funds to families of three or four kids, to their own male staff (female bank staff were treated as second rate non-career employees) or to senior employees of lucrative commercial clients. So I would support any reasonable initiative to making housing more accessible. Personally, I think Housing Corporation should put up ‘container’ houses near rubbish dumps and fitted out in a vandal proof way (eg prison style wash basins/ toilets) for troublesome tenants.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Why should we house troublesome tenants at all.They either learn to be civilized or sleep rough.

          • Callum

            There are some nice broken containers next to Mangere Pick A Part with scumbag looking residents one time when I drove past. Had been moved on the next time I was up that way.

  • Steve R

    Of course your all forgetting.
    Len brown is a fucking cunt

  • sheppy

    Such a shame they are intent on changing Auckland from the lovely unique place it is into just another city stuffed with overcrowded, overpriced high rise apartments.
    Is there anywhere in the world that these have actually worked for a sensible time? In the UK they have pulled a lot of them down because they end up so awful.

  • cows4me

    Why not build floating towns or stilt cites on the mudflats, they do in Holland. I guess the mosquitoes would be a bit of an arsehole. Many parts of the Manukau harbour are shellted and it covers a large area,

  • GregM

    An interesting thing is that three apartments in a building I manage have sold last year, all to owner occupiers.
    Apartments seem to work for owner occupiers, and seem to be a complete disaster for state housing. It has never worked anywhere else in the world and it won’t work here.
    The plan is still missing the point. 18 storey apartment buildings are a waste of land. If you are going to build them, build 55-65 storeys , even at 450-550k for a two bedder it’s still a heap cheaper than a shitbox in the ‘burbs.

  • ConwayCaptain

    The solution to Akls problems is simple.
    The ACC will always be behind in trying to provide transport etc for new emigrants into Akl.
    Get people and businesses to move OUT and start helping provincial towns.