Tana calls for hous­ing so­lu­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Mike Tana wants a plan set up to ad­dress the ‘‘hous­ing emer­gency’’ in Porirua.

The Porirua may­oral can­di­date joined with Mana MP Kris Faafoi and Porirua-based Green MP Jan Lo­gie last week to call for the 126 empty Hous­ing New Zealand houses in Porirua to be filled im­me­di­ately.

‘‘[This sit­u­a­tion] is a kick in the teeth to Porirua fam­i­lies who need a home, and a hor­ri­ble waste of a pub­lic re­source,’’ he said.

Re­cent fig­ures showed 486 Hous­ing New Zealand homes are empty in the Welling­ton re­gion, while 523 peo­ple are on the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment’s so­cial hous­ing regis­ter.

Tana said a ‘‘prac­ti­cal and com­pas­sion­ate’’ plan should in­clude a com­mit­ment to build qual­ity homes that kept chil­dren safe and warm.

Faafoi said state houses in Porirua should be fixed, not sold, and he and Lo­gie called for the Govern­ment to im­ple­ment a clear plan for state houses in the city.

Hous­ing New Zealand chief oper­at­ing of­fi­cer Paul Com­mons said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was a re­spon­si­ble land­lord that housed peo­ple, looked af­ter prop­er­ties and built new ones. About 20 new fam­i­lies a week were housed in the re­gion.

Com­mons said it was im­por­tant to note the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment ad­min­is­tered the so­cial hous­ing regis­ter and Hous- ing New Zealand was not the only provider.

Most fel­low may­oral can­di­dates were in agree­ment with Tana.

Euon Mur­rell said, ’’I never miss a chance to ex­ert what­ever pres­sure I can on govern­ment min­is­ters, as well as Hous­ing New Zealand, on these mat­ters. As mayor, I will re­dou­ble such ef­forts.’’

David Watt said, ‘‘If any of these empty houses are fit for hu­man habi­ta­tion, it is cal­lous to have them sit­ting empty in the midst of a hous­ing cri­sis. Our com­mu­nity needs Hous­ing New Zealand to be the best land­lord pos­si­ble.’’

Mike Dun­can said he had spent time re­cently in east­ern Porirua, and was ap­palled.

‘‘I could not be­lieve the num­ber of empty units and houses I saw - row af­ter row, some boarded up, some just be­ing left to rot. It’s a dis­grace and one that should shame this govern­ment into ac­tion.’’

Gor­don Mar­shall said the empty houses only told part of the story. ‘‘There are also houses out there that are mov­ing to­wards be­com­ing un­fit and these need to be ad­dressed with equal im­por­tance.’’

How­ever, Liz Kelly said Tana had his facts wrong.

‘‘Porirua is not classed as an ur­gent case for hous­ing short­ages based on MSD data. The is­sue in Porirua is about over­crowd­ing, gen­er­ally due to fi­nan­cial con­straints, not short­ages. Porirua has com­plex­i­ties that needs more at­ten­tion than de­mand­ing state houses are opened.’’

PHOTO: LEAH HAINES

From left, Jan Lo­gie, Mike Tana and Kris Faafoi out and about on Thurs­day in Porirua East.

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