Candidates Announce Plans To Tackle Housing Crisis

Two Kāpiti political candidates have now announced intentions to deal with the housing crisis in the District.

Yesterday the youngest KCDC candidate, Sophie Handford, said one of her priorities would be to tackle the shortage of low-cost housing.

She says she will prioritise the development of a Social Housing strategy with the Kapiti Communities Housing Taskforce — ‘showing aroha to our homeless youth in Kāpiti.’

And today Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton announced a plan to deal with the problem of worsening housing and rental affordability — and the district’s social housing shortage.

“When housing and rental affordability in Kāpiti are worsening faster than the New Zealand average, social housing waiting lists have doubled, emergency housing grants are skyrocketing, and building consents are falling, the lack of action to address Kāpiti’s housing crisis by Kāpiti Coast District Council is inexcusable,” Mr Compton says.

Gwynn Compton

Transmission Gully will worsen the pressure

He says that, with the opening of Transmission Gully set to put more pressure on Kāpiti’s housing stock, his plan is built on the recommendations of the Kāpiti Communities Housing Taskforce, which use proven approaches to increase the supply of affordable and social housing.

‘The recommendations of the Housing Taskforce have sat gathering dust at Council for nearly two years, wasting time that should have been spent implementing those ideas to get us ready for the rapid increase in population,’ that will come when Transmission Gully opens. says Mr Compton.

Gwynn Compton’s plan:

  • No more sales of Council-owned houses until comprehensive social housing and housing affordability strategies for Kāpiti are developed in partnership with community housing providers, iwi, and central government.
  • Review and implement the recommendations of the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce as soon as is practically possible.
  • Work with central government, iwi, developers, and community housing providers to identify and develop excess Council and government land where appropriate to provide more affordable and social housing.
  • Set the target with central government that Kāpiti’s housing and rental affordability be brought back in line with the national average by 2025, and for house prices and rents to be more affordable in Kāpiti than the national average by 2030.

He says: “Council can’t afford and shouldn’t be trying to play the role of a developer, but the Housing Taskforce identifies policies that are working in other areas, such as Queenstown and Hobsonville, to get their housing affordability issues under control without requiring significant outlay from the Council.

“Recommendations such as requiring larger developments to have a certain number of properties either built as affordable homes, or land set aside for a community housing trust, are based off a similar model in Queenstown that is set to make a significant dent in alleviating their housing shortage.”

Guru contradicted

“Despite Mayor K Gurunathan’s claims to the contrary, local authorities can and do play a vital role in providing social housing in New Zealand.

“Many of our neighbouring Council’s already provide social housing, and Kāpiti is very much an exception to the rule in only providing older-person housing.

“It’s clear that with Kāpiti’s social housing waitlist having doubled in the past two years, but the government planning to only acquire enough houses to not even meet half of that, there’s a massive gap that needs to be addressed by Council, central government, iwi, and community housing providers,” says Mr Compton.

“With many people in Kāpiti dependent on fixed or lower than average incomes to put a roof over their heads, they can’t afford anymore wasted time in responding to this crisis.”

 

We need to include the views of youth in our decision making. They are inheriting many problems more mature and experienced politicians have failed to counteract. Sophie would be an excellent addition to Council.

How does Sophie want to deal with that problem, she does not even know how to start. Are we going backwards again? We need a mature experienced person, capable of taking long term well founded and balanced decisions. We do not want to be affected by experimentation, lack of wisdom or naive daydreams. This is about the Kapiti Coast, one of New Zealand’s most colourful and fast expanding places. I have lived over ten years at Australia’s Gold Coast since the early beginnings. I have seen it since the bulldozers ventured into a jungle of old trees and lived there from the first modest houses to densely packed housing estates and I see all the parallels with the Kapiti Coast. It is a delicate balance to which the populating citizens tend because it also affects substantially the value of our properties. The Council decisions might be taken quickly, but the impact on us who are living here is long term, even later on when those who took the decision are gone and it is difficult or impossible to revert their decisions. We need wisdom and maturity, in particular when they are talking about the Kapiti Coast.

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