Mayoral Candidate: KCDC Must Keep Houses

Kāpiti Mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton is proposing a moratorium on all Council-owned house sales until a proper social housing plan can be developed with the community.

He says news the Kāpiti Coast Council is set to delay the sale of at least one Council owned house by up to six months is an important step for ensuring locals aren’t forced out of Kāpiti. But it’s not enough.

‘Pressure building’ on KCDC

‘Since I first publicly raised this issue a month ago on social media, the pressure has been building on Council to walk back their decision to sell any Council-owned housing.

‘With Council set to postpone the sale of one of the two properties they approved for sale last December, it’s a small but important victory in helping ensure those on low and fixed incomes aren’t forced out of Kāpiti by a worsening housing and rental crisis,’ says Mr Compton.

The Council, he says, is poised to undertake a long-overdue look at how it can tackle the housing and rental crisis in Kāpiti.

18 months without action

‘It’s now a year and a half since the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce reported back to Council and we’re still waiting to see meaningful action on the ground from their recommendations,’ he says.

‘Kāpiti needs to develop a full social housing plan in partnership with central government and community housing providers, and until that’s been done, there needs to be a moratorium on any further council-owned housing sales, as it makes no sense to sell houses that could feasibly play a role in social housing,”’says Mr Compton.

Gurunthan’s stance questioned

Gwynn Compton has also noted that despite current Mayor Gurunathan voicing concerns about families being forced out of the district back in January 2017, questions remain about whether he originally supported this housing sale in Council, even though it would create the very situation he claimed to be worried about.

‘Mayor Gurunathan rightfully campaigned last election for greater transparency and accountability from both Council staff and elected representatives’ he says.

‘If the Mayor supported the original Council decision to sell this home and force a family out of the district – an outcome that flies in the face of the Mayor’s previous concerns – then he has some serious explaining to do to the people of Kāpiti.”’

This story is a little premature, given the mayor and C.E. withdrew the paper from the agenda during this mornings meeting. There was no vote to do this by councilors, nor was there any opportunity to revisit the 6th December 2018 decision to dispose of the properties, as neither the mayor or any of the other councilors would support my formal request to have the decision brought back for reconsideration today. Good luck trying to get them to agree to a moratorium, I made exactly this suggestion during public speaking at this mornings meeting. How it made no sense whatsoever to dispose of 15 publicly owned properties then have a discussion on setting a new housing policy however that is exactly what council staff intend to do. Cr Jackie Elliott

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