Hous­ing fo­rum cre­ates de­bate

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

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.

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