Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton says emergency housing grants have nearly doubled in the past year on the Kāpiti Coast.
Figures he got under the Official Information Act show grants in the region covered by Work and Income totalled 153 amounting to $122,854 in 2017, but these soared to 299 totalling $229,905 in 2018.
“In the past two years we’ve had applications on the Public Housing Register more than double, consents for new dwellings reach their lowest level for the 12 months to March since 2016, and Council-owned houses sold, he says.
“All of this is being driven by housing and rental affordability in Kāpiti that is worsening faster than the New Zealand average — and a lack of any action from Council to try and address it.”
KCDC ‘needs to work with the Government.’
Mr Compton says the surge in Housing Special Need Grants reinforces the need for the KCDC and central Government to work together in the crisis.
“With Kāpiti in the midst of a housing crisis and families being squeezed out of our district, it is simply not good enough that the recommendations of the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce continue to be sat on by Council nearly two years after they were presented to them,” he says.
Mayor needs to show ‘real leadership’
“Kāpiti needs a Mayor who’ll show real leadership in this crisis and not just cross fingers and hope a solution will magically present itself.”
Nationally, he says, only five per cent of new houses will be priced at or below an affordable level.
Mr Compton adds: “It’s clear we need to partner with central Government and work with developers to urgently increase the level of affordable and social housing in Kāpiti.
“The situation is poised to get worse when Transmission Gully opens and puts even more pressure on our limited housing stock.@
Housing task force could provide a basis
“We have the basis of a strategy to start addressing the housing crisis thanks to the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce,” he says.
“But Council has already wasted two years doing nothing with their ideas.
“I’ll make sure we start to implement their recommendations, as well as getting the government to recognise that Kāpiti needs to be one of their priority areas for increasing the supply of both affordable and social housing.”