Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers has channelled his frustration with Auckland Council’s lack of action in solving Auckland’s housing crisis into writing a book.
His self-published How to Fix Auckland’s Housing Crisis, was released last month after Cr Sayers failed to get Council officers to get the ideas it contains tabled for consideration by the governing body.
In the book, which is recommended in a foreword by Don Brash, Cr Sayers describes Auckland as “a basket case” when it comes to housing affordability and says Council is largely to blame.
“The bulk of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Auckland Council, and in particular with its zoning rules, it’s desire to monopolise infrastructure, forcing travel into the city for jobs, and its slow and expensive consent processing,” Cr Sayers says.
The book offers four solutions –removing the rural/urban boundary, cutting Council regulatory costs, ending the Council monopoly on infrastructure and revolutionising house insurance – Cr Sayers says homeowners should be allowed to take out insurance to cover building quality and protect themselves against such things as leaky homes. This would remove the high costs that Council adds to the price of a new house through what he describes as its “overly regulatory approach to risk management”.
Cr Sayers says his four-point plan would bring enormous benefits to the local area.
Homelessness will be less of a problem as house prices and rents come down and farmers in rural areas who currently can’t subdivide their land would have the opportunity to do so and free up equity.
Cr Sayers says housing affordability is the single most important moral issue facing Auckland Council.
“Auckland Council is capable of solving the problem independent of central government but lacks the courage to do so,” he says.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff was approached for comment on Cr Sayers’ claims, but failed to respond before the paper went to press.
How to Fix Auckland’s Housing Crisis is available from www.gregsayers.co.nz
Win this book
Hibiscus Matters has two copies of How to Fix Auckland’s Housing Crisis to give away. To go in the draw, write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and post to Housing Crisis giveaway, Hibiscus Matters, Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, 18 Tamariki Ave, Orewa 0931. Or message Hibiscus Matters on Facebook. Entries close on Friday, February 15.