15 December 2018. A majority of Councillors voted to receive Mayor Phil Goff’s Annual Budget proposal, including funding of $5 million for the City Mission’s homelessness housing and social services program.
However, Auckland Councillor Greg Sayers says that although it was important to look after those who can’t afford to live in a home, the Mayor’s budget fails to address the root cause of homeless.
“Auckland is a basket case when it comes to housing affordability,” says Cr Sayers. “It’s deeply disappointing that the Mayor has failed to allocate funding towards solving Council’s over restrictive zoning rules, which are responsible for driving up land prices making any type of housing unaffordable for first home buyers and renters alike.”
He says the Auckland Housing Crisis is Auckland Council’s number one issue closely followed by solving Auckland’s traffic congestion issues.
Mayor Goff was quick to point out Auckland Council was issuing around 13,500 resource consents a year, a number which was significantly up on previous years, but well under the 18,000 per annum required.
“Issuing more resource consents will never address the housing affordability crisis”, says Cr Sayers. “The underlining problems, which are within Council’s control, are its overly regulated and costly consenting processes as well as its restrictive zoning rules.”
Cr Sayers was also critical of the Mayor’s 2.5% proposed rates increase.
“The fuel taxes, additional targeted rates and ever increasing Council fees are still hitting Aucklander’s hard in the pocket and are effectively subsidising the rate increase,” says Sayers.