Moana Court on the block
The Moana Court flats could be sold for $1, and removed from social housing after as little as 15 years, it was revealed at a Porirua City Council meeting last Wednesday.
The council is proposing to sell or lease the low-cost housing for over60s in Titahi Bay. The public will be able to submit on its proposal from March 27 during the council’s long term plan consultation period.
To make the Te Pene Ave property more attractive to buyers, the property could be offered for as little as $1 in return for a guarantee to keep it in social housing for several years, the council’s general manager of strategy and planning Moira Lawler told councillors.
‘‘[That’s] assuming council would consider foregoing any real value,’’ Ms Lawler said.
This peppercorn-value sale was not uncommon for council assets, Ms Lawler said.
But a 25-year commitment would make the property unattractive to buyers, councillor Sue Dow said.
‘‘I think that could be a burden for any prospective purchaser.’’
Councillor Liz Kelly agreed and suggested the time limit be lowered to 15 years.
‘‘I don’t believe that’s unreason- able given the age of these tenants. We would have looked after their best interests in their lifetimes.’’
Council’s motivation for selling the 24 bedsits and two one-bedroom flats was in the interests of tenants, mayor Nick Leggett said.
‘‘Is the council the best provider of this service? There are people in there who need a higher level of care than a roof over their heads. We’re not skilled, we’re not equipped as an organisation to deliver it.’’
The council is not managing the housing as well as others could – tenants are not means-tested and the rent has not been assessed for eight years, Mr Leggett said.
Tenant Robert Overend disputed the council’s claim the flats need urgent refurbishing which it can’t afford.
‘‘That’s bulls . . t,’’ he told councillors. If the flats were sub-standard, they couldn’t be let as council housing, he said.
Titahi Bay residents’ association chairman Graeme Ebbett said the council was putting the cart before the horse by selling the flats without creating a social housing policy.
‘‘It should be considering that before it starts disposing of something that’s such a strong part of the community in Titahi Bay.’’