In­quiry into Hous­ing NZ homes

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

So­cial Hous­ing Min­is­ter Amy Adams has asked Hous­ing New Zealand why two Gov­ern­men­towned Cromwell prop­er­ties have been sit­ting va­cant for al­most a year.

Adams, in Queen­stown vis­it­ing an af­ford­able homes de­vel­op­ment, said she had asked Hous­ing New Zealand to fol­low up on why they had not been tenanted since June last year.

‘‘They have an obli­ga­tion to place peo­ple off the regis­ter to meet the re­quire­ments of the house,’’ Adams said. ‘‘I don’t want to see good hous­ing not be­ing utilised if they can be put to use.’’

Cromwell res­i­dent Fiona Sud­den said last week she and other mem­bers of the neigh­bour­hood were ‘‘ap­palled’’ that 5 Cor­nish Pl had sat empty for so long when the Cen­tral Otago town had a se­vere short­age of rental

prop­er­ties mean­ing peo­ple were liv­ing in car­a­vans and garages.

Adams asked Hous­ing New Zealand what the ‘‘dis­con­nect’’ was and whether they were be­ing ‘‘too de­scrip­tive’’ when try­ing to place el­i­gi­ble fam­i­lies into the homes.

An ex­am­ple was whether fam­i­lies el­i­gi­ble for two-bed­room homes were not be­ing placed into

the three-bed­room Cromwell prop­er­ties.

Asked if it was good enough the prop­er­ties had sat va­cant for so long, Adams said she didn’t ‘‘want to make an as­sess­ment about whether it was good enough or not’’ un­til she had some an­swers.

Adams vis­ited the new Sho­tover Coun­try 44-home af­ford­able hous­ing de­vel­op­ment last week along with Queen­stown Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Trust mem­bers and Clutha-South­land MP Todd Bar­clay.

Trust ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Julie Scott out­lined how ‘‘dra­mat­i­cally’’ the state of hous­ing had changed over the past 18 months.

Peo­ple leav­ing Queen­stown due to hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity had be­come se­ri­ous is­sue, Scott said.

Adams said the rea­son for her visit was to bet­ter un­der­stand the ’’sig­nif­i­cant hous­ing is­sues’’ and to see how dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the coun­try were coping.

‘‘My fo­cus is very much on the most vul­ner­a­ble New Zealan­der and how we think about their needs.

‘‘I want to see so­cial hous­ing ten­ants move back up into in­de­pen­dent hous­ing.

‘‘That’s why it’s use­ful for me to come and see what the pres­sures are here.’’

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