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Council's Long Term Plan provides hits and misses

Downtown Community Ministry

Bulletin

3rd May 2006

Council's Long Term Plan provides hits and misses

The Wellington City Council's Long Term Plan is currently open for public scrutiny and Downtown Community Ministry is encouraging people to make their views known.

The LTCCP directs Council's strategic spending and focus in each of its key areas over the next 10 years.

DCM commends the inclusion of Project Margin, in the Plan, as a sign of WCC's commitment to addressing homelessness in the city.

The LTCCP recognises Project Margin, a DCM programme, as "highly successful" and "helping a significant number of people to either find homes or make their accommodation more secure".

"We applaud this council's progressive actions towards Wellington's most vulnerable and we look forward to working together in the future", says DCM Director Stephanie McIntyre.

However, one proposal put forward in the LTCCP allows 5 percent of council properties to be rented at market levels to people who do not meet current housing criteria in the hope that "more working people" will live in the flats and result in a more diverse mix of tenants.

The proposal is difficult to understand when Council figures state that those who qualify for Council housing currently spend 80 days on average on a waiting list and this time is projected to remain constant over the next three years.

What DCM will suggest to WCC in a written submission is that the policy is flawed and does nothing to purposely promote safe and secure social housing. Instead it should focus attention on providing access for social workers and other community volunteers who are motivated to work alongside tenants to develop a healthier environment.

DCM's view is that this approach would better contribute to WCC's goal of providing "affordable, available and accessible" housing.

"We accept that Council is always under pressure to find revenue to continue the maintenance of their housing properties. However, this policy will only reduce opportunity for housing for those who need it and it does nothing to address the wellbeing and quality of life for those already in the housing complexes", says Stephanie.

DCM is encouraging anyone to submit concerns about this policy or any other included in the LTCCP. The simplest way is to send a letter or an email to the Council or fill out the online submission form on the Council's website by the May 12th deadline.

ENDS

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