Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton says news the KCDC is slowing down a house sale while a family get a suitable home shows the Council should focus on people rather than balance sheets.
He says: ‘Since I first publicly raised the issue of the Kapiti Coast Council selling houses it owned three weeks ago, there’s been a groundswell of community support to put the brakes on this sale and for Kāpiti Coasters to not be forced out of their homes in the name of Council debt reduction.
‘We’re all under no illusions that Kāpiti Coast District Council is in a tight financial situation, but forcing families out of the district who have lived here for generations to get a very small reduction in Council debt isn’t what Kāpiti is about.’
‘Family could have been homeless’
Gwynn Compton says that if it wasn’t for the work done behind the scenes by friends and advocates on behalf of the tenants, combined with the public outcry, a long-term Kāpiti Coast family could have been made homeless in just a few weeks’ time.
‘With many families being squeezed out of Kāpiti by worsening housing and rental affordability, another addition to this exodus has only been avoided thanks to work by friends and advocates of the family and the strong public opposition to the sale,’ says Mr Compton.
Housing and rental costs will be at centre of the election
The issue of housing and rental affordability will be front and centre this election with urgent action needed as the clock ticks towards Transmission Gully’s completion, Mr Compton says.
No action on taskforce report
‘It’s been a year and a half since the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce handed its report over to Council and we’re yet to see any meaningful progress on their recommendations.’ he says.
‘The Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce produced valuable work, but if it’s not turned into urgent action on the ground then it will all be for naught.’
He points out that with surplus NZTA expressway land becoming available, KiwiBuild in need of quick wins to meet its ambitious targets, and the Government aiming to rapidly increase the number of social housing places, there are plenty of opportunities — and central government support — to address this issue.
‘We all know making a dent in housing and rental affordability won’t happen overnight, but Kāpiti’s families literally can’t afford any more time to be wasted in responding to this crisis,’ says Mr Compton.