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Despatches from the Auckland housing crisis

"I survive, I don’t live" - Despatches from the Auckland housing crisis

WHAT: Stand Together public event about Auckland Housing Crisis

WHEN: Friday 24 March, 1.00pm

WHERE: Aotea Square, Auckland Central - meet by Town Hall

Heartbreaking stories from key workers in Auckland will be on display in Aotea Square today, in a public event hosted by the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

More than 2500 Aucklanders responded to a PSA survey about where and how they live, and how the high cost of rents and spiralling property prices have impacted on their lives.

The findings reveal half of Auckland’s public sector workers live in unaffordable housing, and nearly 60 per cent say they’re considering leaving Auckland.

PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk will join members who’ll hold placards telling real stories about the housing crisis.

"Reading our members’ experiences broke my heart, and made me realise how close Auckland could be to a collapse," Ms Polaczuk says.

"These workers in local government, the public sector, DHB and the community are the ones that make sure this city works and is a great place to live.

"If they leave, the quality of life in Auckland will deteriorate enormously.

"Our members have courageously shared their stories with us - and tomorrow we will share them with the public".

Notes for editors:

The PSA surveyed members to gather information to inform a submission to the Mayor of Auckland’s Auckland Mayoral Taskforce on Auckland Housing Supply.

2500 members replied over the 6-day time limit.

Key findings include:

- Compared to the average New Zealander, people delivering public services in Auckland are more likely to rent - and if they own their home, are less likely to be mortgage free.

- Close to half have unaffordable housing, and nearly 1 in 5 spends two-thirds of their income or more on housing

- 6 out of 10 say the housing crisis has impacted negatively on their quality of life

- Just under 6 in 10 say they’ve considered leaving Auckland for housing reasons, and 4 in 10 for transport reasons

Key quotes from the survey:

- "Each time we have to move, we apply for 20-30 houses before we are successful .. the house we are currently renting has flooded 8 times in the past 6 months".

- "I recently spent half my salary to live in a converted garage"

- "About 90% of my salary goes into rent"

- "I’m embarrassed to tell people that as a professional of almost 10 years in the public service, I am literally homeless. I am now in a garage. I don’t even have a bathroom, I have to walk in the rain at night to the main house. I am 53."

- "I have had to move far away from my place of work due to cost and availability of housing. I spend 3 hours a day in my commute to work"

- "My husband and I moved from our rental and we now live with my son and his 3 sons. We both get really depressed and we cry a lot as we feel we are intruding"


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