Ditching the council flats

Government pressure is forcing the council to do something about its ageing pensioner flats. Photo: Google maps.

Government pressure is forcing Tauranga City Council to look at ways of divesting itself from its pensioner flats, according to a report to be discussed at the Community and Culture Committee on Tuesday.

The committee is going to be discussing a New Zealand Housing Foundation report on elder housing that recommends the council either sells or otherwise hands over its 246 pensioner flats to one or more registered Community Housing Providers ­– or it keeps ownership and sets up a partnership with a local community housing provider.

Government pressure comes in the form of the Local Government S17A review of the Elder Housing activity, which obliges the council to review its services for cost effectiveness. The law says three elements have to be considered; how a service is governed, how it is funded, and how it is delivered.

Nationally central government is encouraging local government to move away from providing elder housing through changes to the law, such as making Council tenants ineligible to access Income Related Rent Subsidies and limiting Council access to Government grant funding for building new units.

More than a third of Tauranga's pensioner flats are over 50 years old, and none are less than 25 years old. One of the nine villages needs redevelopment within five years and at least three others within 10 years.

Most of the units, about 70 per cent of them, are considered to be below minimum design standards and, most units are small and poorly designed to meet modern life style expectations. The city council has no current plan to pay for replacements or to build new units.

“Council's aspiration is to provide a higher standard of living for all our residents, and this includes affordable, fit for purpose housing for our ageing population,” says Community and Culture Committee chair Terry Molloy.

“We look forward to reading the full report and discussing the findings so we can decide the best option forward.”

The NZHF review goes on to state that the current tenants will actually pay lower rents under a change of regime through access to the government's Income Related Rent Subsidy and related benefits.

The committee will make its recommendation to council, which if approved will be investigated in depth before staff report back to the committee in October to meet the timeframe for the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.



6 Comments

Baystyle, it's NOT Central Government ...

Posted on 07-08-2017 12:51 | By Murray.Guy

'Shame on you "central government" for attacking the elderly by threatening their flats' ... That is smoke and mirrors, bollocks from your city council. The Tauranga City Council Elder Housing activity area is self funding (no rate subsidy), very much appreciated by the tenants, affordable. Standard practice with TCC is to come up with all manner of spin to divert attention from reality. By NOT investing in the activity, not adding value, they will let the assets get run down then use the pretext uneconomic to make good. Sell. 'Have you heard that before a few times'? By not borrowing to renew the elder housing the 'shadow dwellers, Baldock, Molloy, Mason and GAL' who have a focus on museums, stadiums and new admin buildings, will use the available debt increase. ANY sale to the private sector will be at 'very favorable rates'. There are CCO options!

Disgusting

Posted on 07-08-2017 06:35 | By Baystyle

Shame on you "central government" for attacking the elderly by threatening their flats. Where will they go? Motels are not homes. A nation is judged on how they treat their less advantaged. What happened to Kiwis looking out for each other? There are millions for an art gallery, a museum, libraries and a flash new council building but non for the old people's flats? They say all it takes for evil to flourish is for a good man to do nothing. Please vote people!

What next! The

Posted on 06-08-2017 12:39 | By margotaylor

So what organisation is going to want to pick up 50 or 25 year old units? Just where are these people going to live or find affordable rentals? There are state houses in Links Ave that have been sitting empty for months while people are homeless. Somecwork started recently and I think 1 occupied last week. At last!

Funny that

Posted on 04-08-2017 20:46 | By MISS ADVENTURE

WBOP has 70 odd, 34 in Te Puke and are looking to do the same thing. Seems like that they are all following the same "cunning plan" but will it mean less Council staff? VERY unlikely.

this location

Posted on 04-08-2017 17:02 | By Capt_Kaveman

could easy house twice as many units if not 3 fold 2 or 3 stories high

Big Brother

Posted on 04-08-2017 15:24 | By Me n U

Big brother at it again and they can only provide motels at great expense for the homeless.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment. Login Now
Opinion Poll

If you could vote online, would you?

Yes
No

VOTE
VIEW RESULTS
Bay Today


Sentry duty on the Mount base track. Photo: Mike Berry.

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz