Hous­ing big­gest fear for North­cote

North Shore Times - - OUR SCHOOLS HOME - LAINE MOGER

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.

DENISE PIPER/FAIRFAX NZ

Auck­land’s hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity will turn away valu­able roles like teach­ers, nurses and tradies.

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