Un­af­ford­able hous­ing woes


Nearly half of pub­lic sec­tor work­ers in Auck­land can’t af­ford the house they’re in and most are con­sid­er­ing leav­ing the city, ac­cord­ing to a Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion sub­mis­sion to a may­oral task­force on hous­ing.

Sixty per cent of re­spon­dents to a PSA sur­vey said they had con­sid­ered leav­ing Auck­land for hous­ing rea­sons, four in 10 for trans­porta­tion is­sues.

Nearly half said they cur­rently lived in un­af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The sur­vey at­tracted more than 2500 re­sponses and was pre­sented af­ter a PSA event at Aotea square on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

PSA pol­icy ad­vi­sor Sarah Martin said their sur­vey at­tracted its first 1500 re­sponses in only two hours.

‘‘We were just over­whelmed by the heart­break­ing sto­ries,’’ Martin said.

‘‘Peo­ple who had been work­ing all of their lives and were hav­ing mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions hav­ing to live with them be­cause their chil­dren couldn’t af­ford any­where to live.’’

Martin said stag­nant wages in the pub­lic sec­tor and sky­rock­et­ing Auck­land house prices had cre­ated an un­de­sir­able sit­u­a­tion for pub­lic ser­vice em­ploy­ees in­clud­ing for older work­ers in their fifties.

‘‘The sense of shame was re­ally sad, that they were pro­fes­sion­als who had been work­ing all their life and they’re still in this un­ten­able sit­u­a­tion.’’

Sto­ries in the sub­mis­sion in­cluded one health worker who was forced to com­mute 220 kilo­me­tres ev­ery day and an­other who was left with just $55 a fort­night af­ter pay­ing rent.

Sev­eral of the sto­ries were writ­ten on plac­ards and dis­played at the event.

‘‘We can­not af­ford a home of our own to rent,’’ wrote one com­mu­nity worker who said she and her hus­band, both in their fifties.

They had been forced to moved in to their son’s home.

‘‘We both get re­ally de­pressed, we cry a lot, as we feel we are in­trud­ing on our son try­ing to raise his three sons.’’

A re­vealed ap­pli­cants for va­cant teacher po­si­tions in Auck­land were well down on pre­vi­ous years.

The Pri­mary Prin­ci­pals As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent cited hous­ing and trans­porta­tion as the main rea­sons po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants were look­ing for po­si­tions out­side of Auck­land.

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