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Kloeten Launches Campaign for Franklin

Kloeten Launches Campaign for Franklin

“Young people face a bleak future in Franklin unless they make their voices heard at this year’s Auckland Council election,” Franklin ward council candidate Niko Kloeten says. Speaking at his campaign launch in Pukekohe on Saturday, the 26-year-old Affordable Auckland candidate warned under-30s of a “triple whammy” of severely unaffordable housing, a jobs shortage and mounting council debt.

Kloeten blames the Auckland Council for the region’s severely unaffordable housing, with average prices increasing 13% in the past year to a “staggering” $550,000. “House prices are now about seven times average household income, more than twice the affordable level of three times average income,” Kloeten said. “Based on the median household income of nearly $80,000, the median house price shouldn’t be more than $250,000. Home buyers are paying about $300,000 more for houses than they should be, increasing to $600,000 across the life of a mortgage.”

He said unaffordable housing disproportionately affects young people, single-income families and Maori and Pacific islanders, who have lower incomes on average. Finding a decent home under $450,000 is difficult in Pukekohe but Beachlands/Maraetai is even more expensive, with houses going for more than $700,000. Kloeten says, “No wonder young people and families from Franklin are voting with their feet. I did a rough tally on Facebook of the students from my year at Pukekohe High School and more than 80% of them no longer live in Franklin.”

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Kloeten also spoke out against the Auckland Council’s borrowing, which at $1.2 billion this financial year will take its total debt to more than $6 billion, a figure projected to rise to $12 billion by 2022. The council is already paying $1 million a day in interest. “This money is going to bankers rather than our communities. If we don’t get the Auckland Council’s spending and borrowing under control, future generations will pay the price. My daughter isn’t even two years old yet and already she has a kink in her neck from carrying this debt burden.”

Affordable Auckland Mayoral candidate Stephen Berry also spoke at the event, outlining Affordable Auckland’s five policies. These are: lower rates, balanced budgets, spending only on core services, protecting property rights and, above all, making housing more affordable.

“The council’s propensity for over-taxing, over-spending, over-borrowing and over-regulating is creating enormous artificial costs and delays for new development. Unaffordable housing isn’t the result of a council slow to act; rather it is caused by a council that acts too much, too often and for all the wrong reasons. Until council restricts its activities to the basic functions needed to make the city function, rates and borrowing will continue to make home ownership unattainable for young families. Until what your neighbour can see from their front porch becomes less important than what you do with your own porch, compliance costs will continue to cripple new development,” Mr. Berry said.

Ends

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