While National’s caucus focuses on itself, as backbenchers enjoy their one shot at relevance, the country’s big problems continue.
Auckland’s housing supply continues to lag behind demand. National’s answer – Special Housing Areas – aren’t going to deliver the 39,000 houses promised – or even 39,000 consents. 13 areas have been dumped as no progress has been made. The original photo-opportunity launch site still has no homes under construction. The number of houses Auckland is short by has risen from 30,000 to 40,000.
Auckland needs 13,000 homes built each year for three decades, but in the past year only 9960 have been consented, and new council data shows fewer than 7000 actually built. [emphasis mine]
So we’re still only building at half the rate needed. Whether the Housing Accord has been any help is unclear – consents were already climbing before the Housing Accord, and have only continued to climb at a steady rate.
Today brings the news that an independent initiative has been snuffed out by the government. Leonie Freeman’s proposed cross-sector group to focus on the housing crisis wasn’t taken up by Auckland Council as Goff feels that they’ve pulled the lever they have with the Unitary Plan – all the remaining levers: provision of social housing, the creation of affordable housing, how much funding is available – are under the government’s control.
The government didn’t even bother to respond to her. When she called and forced an answer, they pretty much told her it was under control.
That’s how out-of-touch and arrogant this government is – as Auckland’s housing problem continues to get worse by 1000s of houses per year, there is nothing for them to worry about.