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Rent increase meeting

1 May 2008

Rent increase meeting

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker this morning met MPs Jim Anderton and Ruth Dyson to discuss the Council's decision to increase rents for the Council's housing units on July 1, 2008.

Christchurch City Council this week voted against a notice of motion to overturn a decision made on 27 March to increase the rents.

Much of the discussion at this morning's meeting related to a suggestion Mr Parker made earlier this week that a $30 million injection from central government by 1 July 2008 would mean the Council could step back from the 24% increase and could instead limit the increase to the rate of the CGPI for the next 10 years.

Mr Parker said as a result of this morning's meeting Council would be working with the Government MPs on the issue of social housing.

Parker described the meeting as "robust and sincere".

"At this time, of course the MP's are not able to make a commitment to provide extra funding toward City Housing, but they have given assurances that with the City's assistance they will explore avenues to help.

"Any additional funding that our Government can direct to City Housing can only have a positive impact on the rent situation" said Parker. "However the current rent increase will have to remain in place until we get a definite financial commitment from the Government.

"As a Council we need to start work as soon as possible on a catch-up maintenance programme for our housing and planning for that is already underway. "

Mr Parker said it was agreed that Council staff will work with Government officials to provide the financial information required for Mr Anderton and the Christchurch Government MPs.

Mr Parker said that at today's meeting it was agreed that he and the Government MPs would meet more frequently in future to discuss issues of common interest.

ENDS

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