Housing biggest fear for Northcote
Housing affordability and high rents are the main worry for over 900 residents living in the Northcote electorate, according to a poll conducted by Labour’s electoral candidate.
More than a third, 35 per cent, of respondents said they were worried about first home buyers being locked out of the housing market.
The next biggest concern, among 23 per cent of residents, was housing affordability.
‘‘The poll is validating the anxiety that our community is feeling about housing,’’ Labour candidate for Northcote Shanan Halbert said.
‘‘Our parents’ generation are really worried that their grandchildren won’t be able to buy a house, locally.’’
Massey University professor Darrin Hodgetts said this anxiety is due to the fact a house price of $650,000 is not affordable for anyone. Hodgetts adds Auckland’s future looks bleak, as vital roles, like doctors, nurses, teachers and tradies, will be in demand.
‘‘What’s going to happen is people from the regions won’t come to Auckland for work, because people can’t afford to take the jobs because of housing costs,’’ Hogetts said.
‘‘First home buyers, they might get enough to scrape together for a house, but what about when they want to start a family?
‘‘The Government have been promising us more homes for years now. Where are they?’’ he said.
‘‘A creative use of statistics, doesn’t change the fact that there has not been a lot of action.’’
National incumbent Jonathan Coleman said it is ‘‘no secret’’ the price of housing in Auckland has risen significantly.
‘‘I have had significant feedback from constituents on this issue and it is very clear to me how people feel. The important thing is to focus on solutions,’’ Coleman said.
The Government has a range of initiatives aimed at supporting first home buyers. At the end of March 2017, 2,389 Homestart grants have been granted to Aucklanders to support first home buyers.
‘‘The Northcote development is a significant urban development, which will provide around 1200 new homes including 400 new social houses and 800 affordable homes over the next five years,’’ Coleman said.
Auckland’s housing affordability will turn away valuable roles like teachers, nurses and tradies.