26 Oct 2016

A new initiative to tackle Auckland's housing crisis

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 26 October 2016

A property expert has unveiled a plan for fixing Auckland's housing crisis that would unite the government, developers and not-for-profit groups.

Leonie Freeman, a director of Goodman Property and advisor to government and councils, is proposing the establishment of a new non-profit organisation.

It would involve every part of the housing sector - private developers and public sector agencies, iwi, and charitable organisations  - which would set a unified vision and coordinate participants.

Housing in Auckland, she told Nine to Noon, is the biggest issue facing the city.

Ms Freeman said the goal could and should be to build 125,000 new homes in the next eight years - half of them affordable - as part of the bigger Auckland plan to construct 420,000 new homes by 2045.

To reach such targets  - which also included increasing home ownership levels and an increase of social housing - different groups in the sector had to stop working in silos.

"We need everybody in the boat. We need the government, we need the council, we need the private sector, we need the community housing providers, we need iwi, we need the finance community," said Ms Freeman.

"And we need to start the conversation around how do we solve this massive Auckland housing issue instead of going round and round about the problem."

She said the problems needed to be identified in unison before effective solutions could be proposed.

The group would look at changing policies and offering incentives to developers to build more affordable homes, she said.

Ms Freeman has advised the Auckland Council on the Yard 37 development at Hobsonville. She had her own successful property management company, and 20 years ago was responsible for the introduction and development of the website which is now realestate.co.nz.