Housing forum creates debate
More than 50 people turned up to a city housing forum last Friday, to discuss city rentals and affordable housing.
Hosted by the Manawatu Tenants Union and the Housing Advice Centre, the forum included community leaders, including MP Iain Lees-Galloway, Cr Susan Baty, and council candidates from Labour and the Greens.
Keynote speaker Dr Christina Severinsen, senior lecturer in Public Health at Massey University said housing was a key determinant of people’s health, and posed solutions to the region’s housing problems.
Among them was to increase supply of affordable housing - housing that costs no more than 30 per cent of a tenant or homeowner’s income, improve the quality of housing stock, increase stocks of social housing, and provide regulatory standards for rental properties.
‘‘The city needs to ensure there is enough low cost, high quality housing to meet the needs of a growing population.’’
Contributors to the forum included Kerry Howe from the Massey University Students Association, Keith Hilson from Housing New Zealand, Debs Radley from the Salvation Army, and Alistair Saywell from the Property Investors Association.
Organiser Kevin Reilly, of the Manawatu Tenants Union, said the forum helped highlight the seriousness of the issue and kept it on the agenda.