Housing scheme rejigged
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.”