Hous­ing scheme re­jigged

Central Leader - - News - By Heather McCracken

The au­di­tor gen­eral has been asked to re­view a de­ci­sion to slash fund­ing for an af­ford­able hous­ing project.

Coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey re­quested the re­view af­ter Auck­land City Coun­cil voted to scale back the hous­ing deal last Thurs­day.

Ratepay­ers will now put $2.5 mil­lion into the as­sisted home own­er­ship pro­gramme, in­stead of $9m over five years.

Scheme part­ners the New Zealand Hous­ing Foun­da­tion ex­pect to go ahead with the first de­vel­op­ment, a block of seven homes in Denny Ave, Mt Roskill.

Dr Casey says the project was ap­proved un­der the long-term coun­cil com­mu­nity plan af­ter pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

“The Auck­land pub­lic said they were sup­port­ive of coun­cil’s ef­forts to ad­dress the af­ford­able hous­ing cri­sis,” she says.

Dr Casey told the coun­cil on Thurs­day that it was “im­moral” to use a le­gal loophole to back out of the deal.

“It’s rep­re­hen­si­ble and I want no part in it.”

Coun­cil lawyers found changes made to the hous­ing foun­da­tion’s trust deed meant the deal needed to be re­signed.

But foun­da­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Brian Donnelly says they dis­pute that opin­ion.

“We still be­lieve we’ve got a valid and en­force­able con­tract with the coun­cil, but we un­der­stand their po­si­tion and are pre­pared to rene­go­ti­ate a re­duced pro­gramme.”

Com­mu­nity ser­vices com­mit­tee chair­man Paul Gold­smith told the meet­ing hous­ing is the busi­ness of cen­tral gov­ern­ment. He said it was hyp­o­crit­i­cal for City Vi­sion coun­cil­lors to talk about af­ford­able hous­ing.

“What peo­ple didn’t find af­ford­able in the past three years was rates in­creases.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.