Flats’ fu­ture placed on hold

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

A de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of the Moana Court flats in Ti­tahi Bay may be three months away as Porirua City Coun­cil con­tin­ues to ex­plore how the units should be man­aged and by whom.

The coun­cil has been con­sid­er­ing sell­ing its only stake in so­cial hous­ing or con­tract­ing out the man­age­ment of Moana Court to a more suit­able provider. This in turn has brought anx­i­ety to the mostly el­derly res­i­dents of the flats, who are fear­ful of los­ing their homes or in­creased rent.

At its July 25 meet­ing, the coun­cil de­cided to not adopt a pre­vi­ous rec­om­men­da­tion to sell or lease the land and in­structed chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son to continue to ex­plore op­tions for the pro­vi­sion of so­cial hous­ing ser­vices at Moana Court, and re­port back within 12 weeks.

‘‘There is no pro­posal cur­rently on the ta­ble,’’ said mayor Nick Leggett on Fri­day. ‘‘As soon as there is, we will con­sult and in­form res­i­dents first on how the coun­cil’s un­der­tak­ings to pre­serve the flats use as so­cial hous­ing will be main­tained by any al­ter­na­tive land­lord.’’

The pub­lic gallery at last Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing was over­flow­ing with Moana Court ten­ants and sym­pa­this­ers, many up­set that a re­port on the flats was to be tabled in the non-pub­lic part of the meet­ing.

Mr Simp­son said it was ap­pro­pri­ate as coun­cil­lors would be briefed on le­gal ad­vice con­cern­ing tech­ni­cal as­pects of the pro­posal but this did lit­tle to tem­per res­i­dents’ con­ster­na­tion.

Ti­tahi Bay Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Graeme Eb­bett, res­i­dents Don Bor­rie and Tracey Wa­ters and Moana Court ten­ant Dave Fletcher re­fused to leave the coun­cil cham­ber and only did so af­ter the ar­rival of po­lice and re­peated as­sur­ances from Mr Leggett that no de­ci­sion on the flats’ fu­ture would be made that night.

Moana Court res­i­dent Robert Ov­erend and Mr Fletcher had also ad­dressed coun­cil.

Both ques­tioned the process to date and the coun­cil’s abil­ity to pro­tect the res­i­dents if the flats were sold.

The pre­vi­ous week Mr Fletcher had de­liv­ered a flyer to let­ter­boxes claim­ing coun­cil would make a fi­nal de­ci­sion at the July 24 meet­ing and that el­derly and in­firm res­i­dents would be ex­posed to evic­tion.

Mr Leggett said the coun­cil’s in­ten­tion has al­ways been to pro­tect the ten­ants’ fu­ture in their homes and en­sure they are not un­duly af­fected by a change in own­er­ship or man­age­ment.

He said there had been a lot of scare­mon­ger­ing and it had only served to cause ten­ants un­nec­es­sary dis­tress.

Ed­i­to­rial – page 10.

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