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Auckland's Housing A Critical Issue For The Election

Auckland's Housing A Critical Issue For The Election

What came out from at last night's successful election meeting on Auckland's housing is that the desperate shortage of housing is a critical issue for Auckland and the general election, but has not yet been taken seriously.

"We are encouraged that most of the candidates acknowledged the seriousness of the many housing related issues facing Aucklanders that we raised at the meeting. We are also challenged to make this a key election issue and be given the priority it deserves," says David Zussman, spokesman for the community organisations, who organised the meeting.

There was widespread support for an immediate and huge expansion of state house building along with an expansion of community sector housing. This will stimulate the economy, provide useful trade training and skills and ameliorate the multidimensional problems associated with the increasing numbers of households living in inadequate, overcrowded, squalid and temporary housing.

"The scale of these problems is still hidden from public view, and is not being addressed by government. Yet those working in this field have increasingly provided the evidence and voiced their concerns," said David Zussman.

There was a strong, consistent view that HNZ's recent reforms need changing, along with the underlying quality of their tenancy and property management.

The scale and breadth of Auckland's homelessness problem was also recognised by many parties. This includes those living in garages, overcrowded houses, and emergency housing.

Speakers were:

Carmel Sepuloni, MP - Labour's associate spokesperson on social development and candidate for Waitakere; Paul Hutchinson MP - National, MP for Hunua and Chair, Health Select Committee; Alan Johnson, Green Party spokesperson on housing; Sue Bradford, Mana Party candidate for Waitakere; Kaapua Smith - Maori Pary, list candidate; Andrew Williams, NZ First candidate for North Shore

The meeting was organised by community organisations involved with Housing Call to Action, a broadbased network of housing and social service organisations and agencies working in West Auckland and more recently in South Auckland. The meeting was chaired by Professor Jenny Dixon, Dean of the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, Auckland University.

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