"I am 53, a professional and I live in a garage" - Auckland Mayor to hear stories of his city
24 Mar 2017
Auckland’s public servants are at breaking point due to the housing crisis - and more than half of them plan to leave the city, the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi says.
The PSA has presented a submission to the Mayoral Taskforce on Auckland Housing Supply, which includes heartbreaking stories about how the housing crisis is affecting its members.
More than 2500 Aucklanders completed the survey.
"The survey revealed some sobering truths about Auckland, which for many of our members is far from the livable city trumpeted in media headlines," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.
"Nearly half our members live in unaffordable housing, six out of ten say the housing crisis has hurt their quality of life, and more than half are thinking about leaving Auckland."
But Ms Polaczuk says it’s the comments from members that are heartbreaking - and paint a picture of a city that simply isn’t working.
- "My husband and I moved from our rental and we now live with my son and his 3 sons. We both get really depressed and we cry a lot as we feel we are intruding"
- "We spend so much on rent it takes from the mouths of our mokopuna"
- "I pay $350 a week .. the bathroom floor and deck are rotting, the kitchen is the kitchen from hell, but I am afraid to ask the landlord to do maintenance because I fear they will put the rent up"
- "I’m embarrassed to tell people that as a professional, I am literally homeless. I am now in a garage. I don’t even have a bathroom, I have to walk in the rain at night to the main house."
- "Buying in an area 60km from my work has had a huge impact on me and my partner. We do not socialise. The 3 hour a day commute gets to you, you’re tired constantly at work and at home and have no time after work to do anything".
"These comments paint a vivid and disturbing picture of the human face of the housing crisis," Ms Polaczuk says.
"Our members have made suggestions around improving the situation, including greater security for renters, building more homes and investing in infrastructure.
"We want the Taskforce to listen to their ideas - but more than anything, we want their stories heard in this process.
"Public servants are a crucial part of Auckland’s success as a vibrant, prosperous city.
"They cannot be allowed to be the victims of this crisis."