Cr Elliott Says Kapiti District Could Lose Social Housing

Responding to KIN’s latest social housing story, Kapiti Cr Jackie Elliott warns the District’s pensioner units could now be under threat.

And she says the Council has even gone as far as getting an outside ‘consultant’ to look at the 118 pensioner units.

Cr Elliott says: ‘KCDC Management maintain they are unable to sustain the cost of providing the current 118 pensioner housing units and have hired a consultant to prepare a report on the options available to the council.

‘I fear the outcome of this report and hope the ‘outside’ consultant is not used to put a FOR SALE plan on the table.

‘I and members of the public have made multiple OIA ( Official Information Act) requests to Council to find the true ‘cost to council’ for the past 12 months.

‘Each time we ask, we get a different response. Three different sets of figures have been provided so far and it is an absolute joke,’ says Districtwide Councillor Elliott.

‘The Mayor ( K Gurunathan ) alone, also publicly states that it is not the role of KCDC to provide Social housing, it is Central Governments role.’

Kapiti Mayor K Gurunathan

‘He should keep his personal opinions to himself !’

His statement is NOT supported by some councillors, says Cr Elliott.

She adds:’I am absolutely in support of the council finding ways to continue the super job our community, including many members of my own family, has done for decades to build, pay for and provide much needed social housing neighbourhoods in Kapiti.

Action lacking for two years

Cr Elliott says she agrees entirely that action on the Community Housing Taskforce report should have started the day it was written, and it has been a long cold two-year wait that has done nothing to meet the housing needs of the community.

She adds: “The Central Government public housing statistics are interesting given they show a 50 applicant rise over the same period a recently completed audit of the KCDC applicant register shows a drop from over 100 applicants to less than 50.

“This is half the average (waiting) list which has been steadily over 100 for the past five years.”

Challenge to Compton

However I challenge the Mayoral candidate, Mr Comptom’s claim that only one past applicant has found suitable housing, given their privacy is completely protected at all times. How did he investigate the 50 past applicants? A please explain is urgently needed.

Gwynn Compton

I also do not agree that ‘other districts in our wider region are any example to go by.

In October 2017, Horowhenua District Council sold their entire 115 unit social housing stock to Compassion Housing, fully funded and 100% share owned by Mark McGuiness’s of Willis and Bond, Wellington-based property developers.

According to Levin residents, the management have been more stringent about renewing tenancies ever since which may be causing the extra pressure on the Kapiti public housing list.

‘We are only 15 minutes away. It would be ideal to be able to house everyone safely in the future.

‘KCDC needs a new social housing policy committed to meeting the needs of the community as well as the council.’

Councillor Elliott is a community heroine. A modern Joan of Arc if you will. She has become an irritant to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. They appear to be acting as a tag team to plunge pifflepafflewifflewaffle into Jackie. But she will not be moved. She is the peoples Councillor. Through her observations and efforts food and drinks were provided for the rank and file after this year’s ANZAC day ceremony. She has stood firm to advocate strongly for the community. Bravo Jackie.

It’s become clear that this story contains at least two factual errors. I call on Councillor Elliott to formally withdraw those claims and ask Kapiti Independent News to publish stories which have reliable sources of information. If any balance of opinion was sought the errors would quickly have become apparent. Council and Mr Compton. Should have had a chance to respond in the first instance.

We usually accept the word of elected councillors and board members. In the past Cr Eliott has acted in the public bointerest again and again.
We are an electronic medium and usually ‘go to air quickly.Quite often when we ask for comments from ‘the other side’ they are not forthcoming in time.
It also seems evident that the KCDC has turned a blind eye to the terrible problems facing the homelss or rack-rented poor. We await evidence that Cr Holborow or the Mayor have taken the initiative in approaching Govt to actually do something about the ‘strugglers’ paying huge rents in our district.

Editor Alan Tristram

Kia ora Councillor Elliott, unfortunately it would be impossible for you to have been quoting from an April press release from me. The only press release I put out on housing in April was about the government’s Public Housing Register – the waiting list for government-owned social housing – having more than doubled from 40 to 98:

You specifically quoted figures relating to the Council’s pensioner housing units, including the fact that only one person had found alternative accommodation, in the story above when you were speaking about me . These figures were from the RNZ story on 13 July about the waiting list for those having had 50 people withdraw from it – and which I quoted in a press release I sent on 14 July.

I’m sure this is all just an innocent mistake on your part and I look forward to you correcting the record. It’s important that facts are put in front of voters, not fake news.

Let the people in Horowhenua do what THEY like to do. We are NOT Horowhenua, we are Kapiti Coast, with a different Council, different people with different pockets and different needs.. The Kapiti Coast has sufficient people capable of wise decisions. Just give them the opportunity. What is necessary is to ponder all opportunities and what they offer and have a good mix of people to voice their proposals.

This study is about the wider issue of housing. There is no plan to reduce current levels of service. Also why does this publication think it’s appropriate to use a picture of a coffin?

Kia Ora Janet
Your comment is apposite re coffin. But perhaps percipient too. Anyway, we are happy to get a more suitable photo. AlanTristram, Editor


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