Property investors who have left their houses empty could soon be asked by the Auckland Council to consider housing rough sleepers or people struggling to find an affordable rental.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff says he has spoken to the Government and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) about how the thousands of "ghost houses" or vacant properties across the city could be used to help ease a housing shortage.

The 2018 Census found nearly 40,000 homes were empty in Auckland, compared with 6000 more than five years ago.

Just over 7 per cent of Auckland's properties were vacant - which is high

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