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Council to establish Govt. interest in housing

MEDIA RELEASE

June 20, 2002


Council to establish central government interest in pensioner housing before sale

At today’s combined committees meeting of the Auckland City Council, councillors moved to again reassure pensioners who live in council houses that they are guaranteed accommodation for the rest of their lives.

The council will also establish the Government’s interest in the council’s pensioner-housing portfolio before selling its stock of houses.

The committee received an officers’ report which noted that most of the submissions made on a proposal to sell the city’s pensioner housing stock in the draft annual plan were against the sale.

However, some submitters supported the sale.

The council has accepted responsibility to see that Auckland senior citizens need to be properly and comfortably housed.

But it does not believe that its ownership of pensioner flats is achieving this.

Finance and Corporate Services committee chairperson Douglas Armstrong says that looking after pensioners is a national issue and should be handled by central government, rather than be dependent on local authority boundaries.

This would mean everyone would be treated the same regarding rules for eligibility. There would be a consistent quality and pensioners would be able to more fully understand what they were entitled to regarding government assistance.

“In light of this, council will be establishing central government interest in its pensioner housing portfolio prior to commencing a phased withdrawal from pensioner housing.”

He says the government’s “exciting” pensioner housing development in Lynfield is far better than any council accommodation and the “well-designed buildings” with a view, have two bedrooms, cedar shutters and underground garages.

Mr Armstrong says Auckland City council is going to “extraordinary lengths” to ensure that the welfare of its pensioner tenants is paramount, including offering all current residents a life-time tenure.

This recommendation from the meeting today will go for the council’s sign-off to be included in the annual plan.


ENDS

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