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Concerns over WCC's market rates trial

5 July 2006

DCM Bulletin

Concerns over WCC's market rates trial

The number of properties in City Housing complexes rented at market rates will increase to 5% after Wellington City Council approved a one year trial last week.

After making a submission opposing the proposal DCM is concerned this scheme will go ahead. The plan will merely increase revenue for council, and will fail to meet its goal of adding more diversity to the mix of tenants.

This view is shared by Council’s Social Portfolio Spokesperson Cr Stephanie Cook who notes that ‘you couldn’t get a more diverse group of people together in one place’ than those who are represented within City Housing properties.

“I didn’t support this proposal and have grave concerns about it. It’s staggering that council can vote on something while knowing little about how it is to be implemented,” says Cr Cook.

The proposal was included as part of the Draft Long Term Plan and was created to provide ‘more working people’ as tenants, and therefore a more diverse mix.

Currently 0.9% of City Housing properties are rented at market rates.

City Housing Manager Vicki McClaren has the job of shaping the proposal. She says the proposal acknowledges that some tenants do fall outside current criteria and will now find it easier to ‘fess up’.

“The way things are at the moment tenants have a disincentive to be honest with council when their yearly reviews are made. Instead we consider this policy may possibly ‘provide stepping stones and further opportunities for tenants,’” says Ms McClaren.

She suggests council may look to work further with central government on affordable housing options as the policy develops.

As many of our clients are housed in council properties, DCM will follow this issue closely, and is eager to dialogue with council further on the matter.


ENDS

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