Rent rises not as harsh as some reports suggest - CCC’s Rob Dally
29 April 2003
Putting up Council tenancy rentals is always a hard decision, but the Christchurch
City Council is determined to make sure its stock of social housing
remains and to do this it needed to make modest rises in its rents, says
Property Manager Rob Dally.
Responding to a newspaper report following
last week’s Council
meeting, Mr Dally said the story did not reflect the issues that
prompted the Councillors’ unanimous
decision to raise City Housing rentals.
The decision to raise the rents was a really tough call,” Mr Dally
says. “But if the rents weren’t adjusted, City Housing couldn’t
provide for the future maintenance and eventual replacement of
the complexes and Christchurch wouldn’t be able to keep this resource
for future generations in need of low-cost housing. ”
City Housing rents
have not gone up since 1997, even though the costs of running and
replacing the housing portfolio have increased
considerably, as have market rents. The Council rents increase
was needed to make sure
its Housing Development fund continues to be self-financing and
does not need ratepayers ’ funds to operate.
The article said elderly
tenants in bedsit or studio units face a jump of $20 a week to
$68 and $72 respectively.
That’s misleading. It is $20 but it’s being phased in over three
years,” Mr Dally says. “No tenant’s rent will jump up
by $20 a week, as the article suggests. This story may cause our elderly
tenants even more unnecessary stress.
The reality is that the maximum net increase with the Accommodation
Supplement factored in will be no more than $5.50 extra a week
for any tenant.”
Superannuitants will be the most affected, but
that is because their current rents are heavily discounted, at
around 46 per cent
of market rates. But the change is being phased in over three years
to minimise the
impact on tenants.
The increase in rentals will qualify some tenants for an Accommodation
Supplement, or an increase in the amount they are already receiving, from
Work and Income. We will ensure tenants who wish to apply for this have
the appropriate administration passed on to Work and Income (with tenants’ consent).
This is to ensure the payment will be adjusted from the date the rent increase
takes effect to mitigate the amount. ”.
“Even with the increase, it is still the cheapest rental housing
in Christchurch – these increases will bring the rental levels to
on average 70 per cent of market rates, ” Rob says.
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