Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan has asked Council staff to do everything in their power to avoid the large family in Paraparaumu from being forced out of their Council-owned home with no-where to go.
“This is a very unfortunate situation where the government agencies responsible for providing safe and affordable housing for those in need have failed in their duty of care.
“We have no desire to see this family become homeless which is why I’ve asked Council staff to follow a formal process to slow down the sales process for the property until such time as the family has secured alternative housing via Housing New Zealand,” said the Mayor.
The house in question was being held for operational reasons, and is now no longer needed for the purposes that it was acquired for and is being sold. The Council currently holds 13 of these houses and is currently in the process of reviewing all of their property holdings.
Group Manager Place and Space James Jefferson says the Council appreciates that this situation is very disruptive for the family in the tenanted property and staff have been working closely with the family and support agencies to help the tenant connect with the appropriate government assistance.
“We are very aware of the housing pressures facing our community and we will be looking at what options the Council has to influence housing issues over the coming year,” Mr Jefferson said.
Former Kāpiti Mayor Iride McCloy, who raised the issue last week, says the decision to put this on hold is a victory for commonsense but a failure of process.
“It is no good the mayor blaming central government. This is a Kāpiti issue and it was handled very badly. The family has been very poorly treated and the trauma for them is ongoing because council seem to be all over the place on this.”
Ms McCloy says the family should be given an immediate reassurance that their tenure is safe at least until council has a sensible policy and an acceptable alternative can be found.
Ms McCloy says says Council’s social housing policy is in jeopardy because of Council’s debt.