Housing plan cut
A PLAN to build affordable housing in Mt Roskill has been secretly dumped.
Auckland City Council officers revealed this week that an assisted home-ownership project in Denny Ave is no longer being developed.
The project was part of a partnership with the New Zealand Housing Foundation, which is being redrawn after council pulled several million dollars in funding.
Arts, community and recreation group manager Ruth Stokes said at a meeting on Wednesday the new agreement “does not include the Denny Ave site.”
She said the property remained in council ownership “at this time”.
Further discussion was stopped by group general manager Jill McPherson, who said it would be covered in the confidential part of the meeting.
Councillor Cathy Casey, who championed the housing project under the previous council, says she wasn’t aware until the meeting that Denny Ave had been cut.
“I’m personally disappointed that it’s off the table and I don’t know why, there wasn’t a satisfactory explanation given.”
She says only last year the council were trumpeting the project as progressive and sustainable.
Community services chairman Paul Goldsmith confirmed after the meeting that the property is not part of the current funding deal.
The site will be considered again after the agreement is set.
He says further details can’t be revealed as negotiations are confidential.
Foundation executive director Brian Donnelly says he is waiting to hear the outcome of council discus- sions, and can’t comment in the meantime.
The Denny Ave property was announced in September 2007 as the first site to be developed under a $9 million assisted home-ownership deal.
That scheme was scaled back after John Banks’ council came to power, using a legal loophole to back out of the original contract.
In December the foundation said they still expected to continue with the Denny Ave project as part of a renegotiated $2.5m deal.
The latest change was revealed at Wednesday’s community services committee meeting.
Councillors were discussing an auditor general’s report released last month into council’s u-turn on the housing scheme.
The report found council acted within the law, but some aspects of the decision-making could have been improved.