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.
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.”
“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.”