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Political parties oppose sale City's housing stock

Political parties oppose sale of Auckland City's housing stock


Media Release - Council Housing Action Group

23 July 2002

Political parties oppose sale of Auckland City's housing stock

The majority of the main political parties are against Auckland City's plans to sell its housing stock. Questionnaires completed by 6 of the most popular political parties also reveal that the majority support an affordable rental policy of 25% of net income.

Nevertheless, their reliance on amendments to the Local Government Bill to stop the sales, is inadequate, and does not inspire confidence. The Auditor General recently threw out a complaint by Wake Up Auckland, on the draft annual plan consultation process, on the grounds that the Council "was not bound to act in accordance with the submissions", despite there being an overwhelming number of objections.

"Designating housing as a strategic asset in the Local Government Bill is meaningless if the safeguards are dependent on further public consultation," says Sigrid Shayer, spokesperson for the Council Housing Action Group. "If there is no requirement for a public body to heed the overwhelming views expressed through these processes, then dogmatic and dictatorial bodies like the current Auckland City Council will continue to ignore them."

With divisions within our society increasing, it is as important now, as when they were originally built, for this housing stock to be retained in the public sector and to be subject to policies which give low income households and those with special and temporary needs access at an affordable rate.

With the general election campaign nearly over, CHAG is calling on potential members of the new Government to act swiftly to ensure that local government is required to retain its housing stock, and that 'consultation' stops being seen as an annoying time delay and instead becomes an active and genuine element in local decision making.

Ends

For further information please contact CHAG spokesperson Sigrid Shayer ph 09 3611517

Notes to editors:

The questionnaire asked questions on who was responsible for housing issues; affordability; security of tenure; and local government legislation. Labour, Alliance, Progressive Coalition, Greens, NZ First responded; ACT and United Future did not. National was the only one of those that responded which did not oppose the sales.


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