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The government has today announced an exciting new plan to overcrowd 39,000 houses in Auckland in just three years.
Finance Minister Bill English said “A lack of housing in Auckland is leading to rising house prices and stifling economic growth, particularly for middle class baby boomers hoping to purchase second or third properties.
“We need to ensure that the right kind of people in Auckland can afford to buy more houses to rent out, in the right places, more often.
“This plan will allow us to overcrowd 39,000 more houses in just three years, freeing up houses for those who truly deserve them.”
Prime Minister John Key said “The latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation shows that there are five or more people living in 23.9% of Auckland homes. Our research suggests that by taking no meaningful action to reduce house prices, we could easily achieve a rate of at least 40%.”
After being questioned by the press he added “Sure, we could build a lot of more houses, but that would be pretty expensive. So instead we think a more efficient solution is just to try and fit more people into the houses we already have.”
He added: “We tried blaming the council and Len Brown. That worked for a while, but our focus groups suggest people are starting to see through it. So this is the new plan.”
By not introducing a capital gains tax or any restrictions on foreign non-residents purchasing property, the government believes they can keep the heat on in the ridiculously over-valued Auckland market.
The Reserve Bank’s measures to make banks ask for at least a 20% deposit will also work well to keep first-home buyers and low-income Aucklanders out of the property market.
The government is still in negotiation with Auckland Mayor, Len Brown, over which areas should be targeted for over-crowding, but so far most suggested areas are in either South or West Auckland.
However, some pockets of units and apartments in the central isthmus in lower income areas such as Mount Roskill, Glen Innes and Waterview have also been identified as targets for over-crowding.
Housing Minister Nick Smith said “By putting pressure on Auckland Council to free up land for development at the edges of urban area, while failing to actually invest in building any houses ourselves, we can also ensure that developers who have bought up land on the urban fringe over the last 30 years will experience massive windfall gains.”
“This will mean lots of large, expensive houses are built in rural Auckland for baby boomers to live in when they retire. Their affluent, middle classed children can then move into their multiple properties in central parts of Auckland.”
Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett stated that research suggests low income Pasifika and Maori Aucklanders living in South Auckland are most likely to benefit from the over-crowding provisions in this plan.
She noted that Aucklanders living in over-crowded houses will need to spend less on heating, as more bodies in smaller spaces will generate their own warmth. Their children can also share clothes and blankets, which will help to keep them warm in winter, and promote the spread of infectious diseases quicker and more efficiently.
“We often see families where it can take at least three weeks for all members to get infected with a cold, flu or rheumatic fever. By crowding more people into fewer bedrooms, we can make sure that all family members get sick at once, rather than prolonging the misery.” said Minister of Health, Tony Ryall.
Impartial political commentators, such as Fran O’Sullivan, Matthew Hooton and business leaders, such as Andrew King, the President of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation, have greeted the government’s plans with an overwhelmingly positive response.
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