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Council Moves on Social Housing Rents

18 December 2008

The Christchurch City Council will use a special consultative procedure to assist Councillors in setting its social housing rental levels to take effect from 1 July 2009.


The consultation process will obtain the views and preferences of tenants and the wider community on all reasonably practicable options for funding the Council’s social housing portfolio, including the Council’s preferred option.  


The Council’s preferred option is for a 14% rental increase from 1 July 2009 to address ongoing maintenance, redecoration and refurbishment.  For most tenants who receive an accommodation supplement from Work and Income, this would equate to a net increase of around $4 per week.  This increase would be followed by increases up to the level of CGPI (capital goods price index) in subsequent years.  The preferred option would be the basis for an informed consultation process, but is not the only option that will be considered.  Funding will also be sought from central Government for maintenance, redecoration and refurbishment, and if these efforts are successful that funding will be used to reduce proposed increases. 


The Council also supported a working group made up of the Council’s Housing Working Party and other external groups or individuals suggested by COSS to explore alternate funding options that might also impact on future rental funding models.


At the same meeting councillors also considered legal advice before deciding not to appeal the decision of the High Court relating to the Council’s 24% increase in social housing rents.


Mayor Bob Parker praised the constructive approach of Councillors and said that it was important that the Council now move on and look at all the funding issues relating to its social housing.


“We have already incurred costs of $233,142 for external legal costs in this case, and I think it is important that we now put this behind us and move forward in a constructive manner,” Mr Parker said.


“I have every confidence we can achieve this,” he said.


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