No se­cu­rity

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The un­cer­tainty fac­ing ten­ants of the Moana Court flats in Ti­tahi Bay looks set to continue for a few months yet.

Porirua City Coun­cil has stepped back from a rec­om­men­da­tion to sell or lease the man­age­ment of its sole stake in so­cial hous­ing, to ex­plore more op­tions.

Res­i­dents of the 24 bed­sits and two sin­gle room flats op­posed to Moana Court be­ing sold, will be re­lieved it hasn’t hap­pened yet, but prob­a­bly won’t wel­come months more of not know­ing.

No­table in its ab­sence from the coun­cil’s me­dia state­ment last Fri­day was any ref­er­ence to the Pub­lic Works Act con­di­tion re­quir­ing that, in the event of sale, land no longer needed for pub­lic work be first of­fered back to the for­mer own­ers.

This bu­reau­cratic snag was the rea­son for the coun­cil shut­ting out the pub­lic at last week’s meet­ing, and for grow­ing un­ease among ten­ants who re­alised this could jeop­ar­dise the coun­cil’s abil­ity to sell the prop­erty with so­cial hous­ing safe­guards.

We can pre­sume the Act has some­thing to do with the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to step back and take an­other look at its op­tions for Moana Court, but mayor Nick Leggett couldn’t have been more em­phatic in the coun­cil’s in­tent.

He said Moana Court was built to pro­vide el­derly res­i­dents in fi­nan­cial need with a se­cure and low­cost house, and the coun­cil was com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing this would not change.

It’s a stance that has changed lit­tle since the pro­posal was first floated in March. But when it comes to one’s home, peo­ple can get very emo­tional, as ev­i­denced as last week’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Dur­ing pub­lic speak­ing time, Moana Court res­i­dent Robert Ov­erend barely got through in­tro­duc­tions with­out break­ing down. He spoke of ten­ants’ affin­ity for Moana Court, be­ing able to ‘‘shuf­fle’’ be­tween home and the Ti­tahi Bay shops.

Mr Ov­erend ac­cepted res­i­dents may be able to find other ac­com­mo­da­tion, if forced to move, but not with the same re­la­tion­ship they have with their en­vi­ron­ment and the Bay community.

It was a heart­felt ded­i­ca­tion, but one I be­lieve would be fa­mil­iar to many Porirua res­i­dents, be they home­own­ers or ten­ants, who have had to leave the home they love but can’t af­ford.

By its own ac­count, the coun­cil can­not af­ford Moana Court, though some ten­ants have dis­puted the claim $650,000 of im­prove­ments are needed to bring the flats up to a mod­ern stan­dard.

We sym­pa­thise with the ten­ants – most of them are at the stage of their lives when the last thing they need to worry about is the roof over their head – and are con­fi­dent a pos­i­tive way for­ward can be achieved that ben­e­fits all par­ties.

But there is also a cold hard truth that deal­ing with un­cer­tainty is just part of life for a ten­ant.

There can be many ad­van­tages to rent­ing in­stead of own­ing one’s abode, but rarely is longterm se­cu­rity one of them.

Matthew Dal­las, Ed­i­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.