Show me the homeless people Phil!


It is a question I’ve had for some time.

If we have an Auckland housing shortage, should we not have about 100,000 homeless by now?

And since we don’t, where is this “housing shortage”?  


UPDATE:  For the sake of balance (the thing we always get accused of not doing) I subsequently received this reply.


If the problem is genuinely as large as it is, it seems to be to be mostly invisible.   Not sure if better utilisation of available accommodation is immediately “overcrowding”, and homelessness is clearly not an issue as we don’t have tribes of people living under bridges.   As for substandard conditions, I suspect a lot of garages are better than being outside.

I myself life in a rental that had the garage converted to be another room at some stage in its history.  Even where the garage door was removed and a glass front put in.   Not sure if that would be sub standard or overcrowding, but I guess there is part of the answer to “where are all these people living then?”.


– Pete, Twitter


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  • Seriously?

    I suspect that if two families live in two small apartments that is a compact city, but if two families live in the same house that is overcrowding.

    A part of the housing crisis in Auckland is a crisis of expectation.

  • Graham Pilgrim

    Well, Phil. We could cut our refugee quota. That would ease the situation a little.

  • Left Right Out

    By Phils calculations he wants 1 house per person? And they have to be new houses as you can’t come back to NZ and buy a house of a family or person who is moving elsewhere in NZ

    It’s funny that the reds bang on about this net migration as when they were in power it was the other way… they seem happy for people to leave NZ

  • Wheninrome

    Apparently rents are settling back in the Auckland region, the housing crisis is even more confusing if this is happening, you would think demand for housing would continue to push rents.

  • Dan

    So mathematically, 9,000 consents PA housing on average 6 people per consent would happily then provide 54,000 places to sleep. With ACCs compact city polcy, it would be reasonable to suggest that some of those consents would be for mulitstory apartments.

    Mr T is instead choosing to apply one consent per bed. This is seriously flawed.

  • Isherman

    Don’t get all excited Phil, those raw numbers are probably not as bad as you seem to think. Remember, once you take out all of the people with chinky sounding names, who shouldn’t be able to buy the houses anyway, and all the Indian chefs who can be deported because Kiwi’s can do the job just fine, I’m sure the deficit will look much smaller.

  • Sally

    Lets have some full facts from Statistics NZ

    All regions had a net gain of international migrants in the March 2016 year, led by Auckland (31,200) and Canterbury (7,100). The next-biggest net gains of migrants were in Wellington (2,800), Waikato (2,600), and Bay of Plenty (2,300).

    The Auckland region saw 52,400 migrant arrivals in the March 2016 year, up 10 percent from the previous year. Of the migrants arriving in Auckland in the March 2016 year:
    16,500 arrived on work visas – the biggest source country being the United Kingdom
    12,900 arrived on student visas – about one-third of students were from India
    10,000 were New Zealand citizens returning – 44 percent were returning from Australia
    8,600 arrived on resident visas – the biggest source country being China.

    Just over half of all arrivals who stated an address on their arrival card indicated they would reside in Auckland. Of those who stated an address on their departure card, 42 percent were migrating from the Auckland region. In comparison, the Auckland region is home to 34 percent of New Zealand’s population (at 30 June 2015).

    Students – live in flats, university accommodation – most won’t be looking to buy property.
    Returning NZers – either already own property or live with family until they get a job and/or buy a house.

    Then we have 42% migrating from Auckland – accommodation freed up.

    • Dan

      When filling in the arrival card, you put where you will be staying. I guess for many, since they arrive in Auckland or Christchurch, surely many would just put those two cities as a base because for quite a few, they would not know exactly. As you show, just over half actually stay in Auckland.

      Take away the students and NZ citizens returning, you get about 30,000 net arrivals, of which about 15,000 require some form of permanent housing. Now the 9,000 consents mean only one building per 1.5(ish) people. So more than enough.

      Unless of course, those 8,600 mostly chinese migrants are hogging all the consents, making the rest huddle in refrigerator boxes on Queen Street!

  • Mac50

    Here’s a clue. We (2) have a small (90 m2) 4 bed house in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Over the last year we have taken in 2 Chinese homestay boys and 2 Thai women that work for my wife (2 year work permits). To accommodate the most recent arrival we have rented a mobile cabin that is parked down the back. Everyone is happy, the mortgage is going down, the Homestays get all the English practice they want, the Thai team enjoy each others company and I am living in Asia without leaving home (fantastic meals). Just takes a bit of imagination!

  • Seriously?

    One problem that may be real is the idea that people buy Auckland homes as investments, but don’t even rent them out – preferring to leave them vacant. I thought that was an urban myth, but I finally had someone confirm it for me. Gareth Morgan is one such capitalist asset hog. He was interviewed on the Nation about a silly idea he has for taxing the equity in your home even if you don’t sell it, and he admitted he owns vacant homes (I think he said six of them but that may include some that are occupied) that he doesn’t rent out as the tenants only wreck the carpet.

  • metalnwood

    I suspect what we might call overcrowding is what many migrants chose to do, as they would have done in their own country and not just for monetary reasons.

    If we had more houses that doesnt mean an asian or indian family is going to split up and move in to different houses.

    What are you going to do Phil, break up an extended family house?

  • Not Clinically Insane

    Twyford again ignoring the fact its Auckland Council and their utopian dreams holding up new housing, not central Govt

  • WBC

    They’ll be back onto the university students again next January, desperately hoping the the 90% of Kiwi’s that are smarter then every single Labour MP wont’ realise that living right in the center of the city is a privilege that NEVER applied to more then a few, and was NEVER as achievable for so many students as it is now.

    What is wrong with living in the suburbs these days?