Empty lots a sad re­minder

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON McCON­NELL

Fif­teen Can­nons Creek Hous­ing New Zealand homes are to be de­mol­ished next year with prom­ises of new de­vel­op­ment, but Mana MP Kris Faafoi is scep­ti­cal.

He said it was merely a re­peat of an un­suc­cess­ful process seven years ago.

In 2008 and 2009, 27 age­ing hous­ing New Zealand homes were de­mol­ished on the Cas­tor Cres loop, less than 500 me­tres away from the 15 homes in Haz­ard Grove and Esk Place.

At the time res­i­dents were promised to be kept in­formed and that the land would be de­vel­oped into new hous­ing. To­day it still stands empty. Faafoi said though he didn’t op­pose the de­mo­li­tion of run­down or earth­quake- prone houses, he was con­cerned his­tory would re­peat it­self.

‘‘We’ve had houses de­mol­ished and prom­ises that new houses will be de­vel­oped and there’s an empty lot there,’’ he said.

‘‘What­ever is gone needs to be re­placed. This time we have to make sure if there is a prom­ise they will follow through with it.’’

Hous­ing New Zealand prop­erty ser­vices gen­eral man­ager Mar­cus Bosch said the land at Cas­tor Cres was not re­de­vel­oped be­cause it had proven not eco­nom­i­cally vi­able.

‘‘We would like to see the land at Cas­tor Cres re­de­vel­oped. How­ever, be­cause of low de­mand for our hous­ing we have no cur­rent plans to re­de­velop it our­selves at this point.’’

He said the low de­mand for hous­ing in the area also meant the depart­ment would be out­sourc­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the Haz­ard and Esk land.

‘‘We are con­fi­dent we have enough homes to house those in need,’’ Bosch said.

‘‘We must spend the tax­pay­ers dol­lar wisely, which is why we are fo­cused on build­ing new homes in ar­eas where there is de­mand. There is de­mand for one-bed­room homes in Welling- ton City. We re­cently an­nounced we aim to build 100 new units in the city to meet this de­mand.’’

But Faafoi said he saw a dif­fer­ent story through his of­fice.

‘‘I think peo­ple have given up on the wait list,’’ he said.

‘‘We don’t need fewer houses; we need more. I don’t want it to stay va­cant. That com­mu­nity is still vi­brant and it needs peo­ple to live in it.

‘‘I’d like the Gov­ern­ment to have a look at the real de­mand for hous­ing in the area and re­alise more homes need to be built. It’s ac­tu­ally an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘They can re­ally put a bit of en­ergy into the com­mu­nity if they go in and build some­thing that meets the needs of the com­mu­nity.’’

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