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Ombudsman asked to investigate Council rent rise

COALITION FOR FAIR RENTS

Media Release

19 May 2008

Ombudsman asked to investigate Council rent rise

A formal complaint to the Ombudsman has been laid by The Coalition for Fair Rents for what it says is a seriously flawed process that saw Christchurch City Council increase its social housing rents by 24%.

“We have exhausted all other options to get Council to acknowledge and correct the many shortcomings in their process”, said Coalition spokesperson Sharon Torstonson. “We and many others have worked extensively to put our concerns to Council and suggest how they could be addressed, but to no avail. It feels like Council just doesn’t want to know.”

The complaint says Council voted on the 24 percent rise after:
- flawed and inadequate advice that did not meet The Local Government Act 2002
- failing to consider all options or adequately considering each option’s costs and benefits
- failing to adequately consider the views of tenants or those with an interest in the increase
- not addressing inconsistencies between the decision and existing policies and plans.

“We now hope the Ombudsman will be able to focus Councillors on the gaps in their information and the flaws in their process and have the 24 percent increases halted before they take effect in July”, said Sharon Torstonson.

ENDS

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