House sale delay a small step in right direction, moratorium on further sales needed

Mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton says news Kāpiti Coast District Council is set to delay the sale of at least one Council owned house by up to six months is an important step for ensuring locals aren’t forced out of Kāpiti.

“Since I first publicly raised this issue a month ago on social media, the pressure has been building on Council to walk back their decision to sell any Council-owned housing. With Council set to postpone the sale of one of the two properties they approved for sale last December, it’s a small but important victory in helping ensure those on low and fixed incomes aren’t forced out of Kāpiti by a worsening housing and rental crisis,” says Mr Compton.

With the Council also poised to finally undertake a long overdue look this year at how they can help tackle the housing and rental crisis in Kāpiti, Gwynn Compton is proposing a moratorium on all Council-owned housing sales until a full and proper social housing plan can be developed with the community.

“It’s now a year and a half since the Kāpiti Coast Communities Housing Taskforce reported back to Council and we’re still waiting to see meaningful action on the ground from their recommendations.

“Kāpiti needs to develop a full social housing plan in partnership with central government and community housing providers, and until that’s been done, there needs to be a moratorium on any further council-owned housing sales, as it makes no sense to sell houses that could feasibly play a role in social housing,” says Mr Compton.

Gwynn Compton has also noted that despite current Mayor Gurunathan voicing concerns about families being forced out of the district back in January 2017, questions remain about whether he originally supported this housing sale in Council, even though it would create the very situation he claimed to be worried about.

“Mayor Gurunathan rightfully campaigned last election for greater transparency and accountability from both Council staff and elected representatives. If the Mayor supported the original Council decision to sell this home and force a family out of the district - an outcome that flies in the face of the Mayor’s previous concerns - then he has some serious explaining to do to the people of Kāpiti.”

Update 1pm 14 February 2019

It’s understood that the proposal that would have postponed the sale for six months was pulled from today’s Council meeting agenda. The reasoning behind this is unclear, though it is hoped that this is so the sale can be cancelled entirely. However, with the next Council meeting not scheduled until 14 March, and the eviction noticed dated for 15 March, something needs to be confirmed soon to give the family in question certainty.