What to do about the housing crisis in a city growing by about 900 people a week?

Auckland mayor Phil Goff's housing taskforce meets for the first time today, the first step in his plan to respond to fast-paced growth out-stripping housing supply.

"Auckland faces severe housing difficulties as the supply of housing fails to keep pace with demand,"Goff said.

"The number of extra houses the city needs each year is estimated at around 13,000 and we have been building only around half that number. The accumulated shortfall in homes grows each year. This has resulted in the cost of buying a house becoming unaffordable for a growing numbers of Aucklanders, rent rises putting low income households under real pressure and growing homelessness.

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"The role of the taskforce is to bring the diverse expertise of the people in it to bear on analysing and finding solutions to the problem. To the extent possible, we will try to find common ground on these things and make recommendations aimed at resolving the problems.

"Bringing together the cross-section of people involved in housing supply to share their expertise is an important step towards finding solutions to Auckland's housing issues. I'm delighted that representatives from all sections have agreed to becoming involved," Goff said.

Recommendations will be announced in May.

Taskforce members are from the council, Government and private sector and its objectives are to identify barriers and constraints to building more homes at a pace and scale which meets the demand created by population growth and identify options and make recommendations to overcome those barriers and constraints.

Labour wants to establish the Affordable Housing Authority, an independent Crown entity with a fast-tracked planning process to lead large-scale developments and cut red tape.

The Government has announced a plan to establish urban development authorities throughout New Zealand, but particularly in areas where growth is strongest.

Labour promises 100,000 affordable homes under the KiwiBuild programme.