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Housing affordability --- let’s get the cure right

Housing affordability --- let’s get the cure right

The diagnosis is right but the cure would kill us – that is the reaction of Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford to the just-released annual Demographia survey on housing affordability.

“The survey tells Aucklanders what they already know, that house prices are unaffordable for growing numbers of low and middle income people,” Phil Twyford said. “Auckland house prices relative to incomes are less affordable than New York.

“The survey’s co-author Hugh Pavletich gets the diagnosis right --– we are cursed by unaffordable housing --– but his cure would spell disaster for Auckland. Mr Pavletich, like the National Government, would tear down the urban-rural boundary and unleash suburban sprawl and traffic jams from Hamilton to Whangarei.

“Aucklanders are living with the consequences of 60 years of motorways and sprawl,” Phil Twyford said. “The only way to make Auckland liveable is to build high quality medium density developments to house the city’s growing population, and invest in a modern public transport system.

“National’s solution, backed by the likes of Hugh Pavletich, is no solution.”

Phil Twyford said Hugh Pavletich also failed to address the speculative forces that were driving housing prices ever higher.

“House prices have fluctuated wildly over the last twenty years due to the speculative economy and interest rates. Interest rates have come down since the 1990s but ordinary Aucklanders have seen no benefit because there is always a shortage of housing in Auckland.

“The real conversation we need to be having is how we can increase the supply of affordable housing all over Auckland, not just on some remote new development at the end of a traffic jam,” Phil Twyford said

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