Coun­cil looks for hous­ing so­lu­tions

CHB Mail - - News -

With no cur­rent plans by theMin­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment or Hous­ing NZ to pur­chase any fur­ther prop­er­ties in the dis­trict, CHB Dis­trict Coun­cil says it is em­bark­ing on a project to find so­lu­tions to the so­cial hous­ing ‘chal­lenges’ fac­ing CHB.

In late 2017 ameet­ing was called about so­cial hous­ing avail­abil­ity in CHB in re­sponse to a CHB Mail ar­ti­cle last July, about a teenage cou­ple who were forced to­move into an old con­verted wool­shed with their 6-day­old baby in themidst of the worse storm of the year due to a lack of emer­gency hous­ing.

Asub­se­quent meet­ing of coun­cil­lors and those work­ing in the sec­tor sought to clar­ify the coun­cil’s role in pro­vid­ing so­cial hous­ing.

Coun­cil al­ready pro­vides a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of so­cial hous­ing stock in the dis­trictwith their 48 pen­sioner flats, but coun­cil­lors re­solved to cre­ate a So­cial Hous­ing Strat­egy as part of its re­cent 2018-28 long term plan.

The pur­pose of the strat­egy is to iden­tify is­sues and op­por­tu­ni­ties to ad­dress lo­cal chal­lenges for so­cial hous­ing in the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing coun­cil’s cur­rent role, said coun­cil’s com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­woman, Kelly An­nand.

She said a strong fo­cus of the strat­egy will be on de­liv­er­ing timely so­cial hous­ing out­comes for the whole CHB com­mu­nity.

“As com­mu­nity lead­ers, this project gets right to the heart of ad­dress­ing so­cial hous­ing is­sues for our most vul­ner­a­ble.

“We need to be clear what ac­tions will ac­tu­ally pro­vide con­struc­tive and sus­tain­able so­lu­tions.”

Mayor Alex Walker was pleased that her coun­cil was able to step into the breach where Gov­ern­ment agen­cies had been un­able to meet com­mu­nity needs.

“MSD and Hous­ingNZ do not have any clear in­ten­tion to ex­pand so­cial hous­ing stock in our com­mu­nity— but we can see there is a gap that needs to be ad­dressed.

“It is great that we have been able to step up and do some­thing to find so­lu­tions.”

To be de­liv­ered in two phases, the first stage of the project in­cludes coun­cil work­ing along­side cen­tral Gov­ern­ment and key agen­cies to fully un­der­stand the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties for so­cial hous­ing in CHB.

Coun­cil’s role in de­liv­er­ing so­cial hous­ing, in­clud­ing the strate­gic di­rec­tion of its cur­rent re­tire­ment hous­ing port­fo­lio, will also be in­cluded in the strat­egy.

The sec­ond phase is im­ple­ment­ing the Strat­egy with clear time­lines and ac­count­abil­i­ties in de­liv­er­ing suc­cess­ful so­cial hous­ing out­comes.

Coun­cil ex­pects a draft strat­egy to be avail­able for public con­sul­ta­tion by early 2019.

The CHB Mail head­line from last July.

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