TriTV IV: Selwyn Manning Interviews Major Campbell Roberts On NZ’s Housing Challenge
Triangle TV: The latest news on the Auckland housing front is that average prices are now at an all-time high.
The median price for a home in Auckland has topped $690,000.
In some pockets of the super-city, house prices are now up to 30% higher than they were at the peak of the last big property boom in 2007.
Good news if you’re a home owner and mortgage-free – not so good if you’re struggling to get into your first home or trying to rent a place to live.
For some time, the Salvation Army’s been warning that housing affordability is developing into New Zealand’s greatest social policy failure.
Selwyn Manning’s been exploring the issue with the Army’s social policy spokesperson, Major Campbell Roberts.
Over recent months we have seen the value of purchasing a home in the Auckland region soar to record levels.
Q: Are you concerned that this will impact further on families that are already struggling to make ends meet?
The median price for a home in Auckland is now $690,000. That is 30% higher than it was five years ago.
Q: Are landlords hiking up rents to reflect the increasing value of their rental housing stock?
Despite increases in housing values, and a shortage of housing stock, particularly in Auckland, the Salvation Army report states rent affordability had not changed in 2011, and it measured this affordability on a finding that it costs around 18 hours of work in order to pay for a week’s rent.
Q: Does this mean everything is OK, or are we seeing more people in part time work paying a larger proportion of their income in accommodation costs?
WHAT SHOULD THE GOVT DO?
In the Salvation Army report, The Growing Divide, it states: “Government and local councils appear unwilling or unable to acknowledge the extent of the housing problem New Zealand is facing, despite warnings from independent agencies.”
Q: What do you expect this Government, and opposition MPs, to do about the housing problem and how it contributes to poverty in New Zealand?
In the report, The Growing Divide, it warns about increased numbers of people who find themselves marginalised, it also notes how more people are relying on Salvation Army food parcels.
Q: How does this compare to say, 1996, have we created a fairer country, a place where even those who find themselves marginalised can find a way to prosper?
THE REAL SITUATION FOR MANY FAMILIES
Q: What about families who find themselves under financial pressure how do they cope with housing and rental costs – how can they help themselves?
Q: Do they seek more affordable accommodation, if so, what is this accommodation like?
Q: Do people move in with other families, is overcrowding a problem in some areas? What is the impact on the family unit where overcrowding is in evidence?
Q: The Christmas season is upon us. Does Christmas bring added pressures to families?
Q: And what is being planned to help families in need, cope with Christmas so they can also enjoy some peace and goodwill at this time of year?
The Beatson Interview broadcasts weekly on TriangleTV and webcasts on LiveNews.co.nz.