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Housing Relief But Auckland Councillors Condemned

Housing Relief But Auckland City Councillors Condemned

The Council Housing Action Group (CHAG) is relieved that a deal has been reached between Auckland City Council and the government regarding the fate of Auckland City’s housing stock. We are pleased that all tenants will now benefit from income related rents and security of tenure under Housing New Zealand. This ends the months of uncertainty and stress endured by the City’s tenants in both the pensioner and general housing.

However, CHAG can only condemn Auckland Citizens and Ratepayers Now caucus and the Mayor for abdicating the Council’s responsibility for maintaining its existing housing stock. They’ve extracted blood from the taxpayer. These properties would have paid for themselves over the decades in council ownership. Yet, not one extra property has been created which is affordable to low income people through this stand off. People who gave houses and land in trust to the Council for council housing, as well as the support given by previous governments, have also not been given credit.

Local authorities are certainly in a position to augment the national housing stock - something which is sorely needed in Auckland. Christchurch City Council has demonstrated how public sector housing stock can be managed to provide affordable rents and be self-sufficient.

These Auckland City Councillors and the Mayor have demonstrated that they are divorced from an understanding of life outside their own worlds. They had no mandate to sell off these houses.

Wide-spread community opposition has helped in preventing these properties from being lost to the private sector. We warn other communities that Auckland City’s precedent may not be available to other local authorities.

We look forward to the election of a more socially and environmentally minded council in Auckland City.

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