Rocketing costs force crowding in homes

NZ Herald March 27, 2008

Overcrowding is on the rise again in Auckland as sky-high housing costs force families to double up or live in garages to make ends meet. An analysis by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has found that the region’s population grew 12.4 per cent in the five years up to the 2006 Census, but the number of homes grew by only 11.2 per cent. The result was a shortfall of 4202 homes compared with the number that would have been needed to keep the average 2001 ratio of 2.6 people in each home.

Manukau City alone accounted for more than half the total shortfall, bringing an abrupt end to a long-term trend towards reduced overcrowding. Social agencies said rent increases, which averaged 7.1 per cent across the country in the past year in a Massey University survey published on Tuesday, were driving families to stay with relatives or live in garages.