Although the Council’s “Communications Department” hasn’t bothered to respond to us, it has to the Kapiti Independent News:
“…The Council’s Group Manager Place and Space, James Jefferson, says:
‘The house you’ve mentioned was being held for operational reasons and is now no longer needed for the purposes that it was acquired for. We currently hold 13 of these houses and are reviewing all of our property holdings.
‘We let these particular houses under standard market tenancy terms and conditions in order to recover some value for ratepayers.
‘The tenancy agreement was a periodic, month-by-month agreement and was entered into on that basis between the parties.
‘These houses are completely separate from our housing for older persons’ portfolio. Council’s current role in housing is to own and manage 118 flats that are used for housing for older persons, and we provide a range of services to these tenants. We don’t operate any other social housing as a normal part of our business.”
While most people support the council playing a role in providing social housing, there are those who have a different opinion; a comment on KIN from someone named John: “Sorry but the council is not a charity and should not be one. They are here to provide services for the rate payers not social housing. I don’t want to support those who cannot afford to live in Kapiti, that is the government’s job.”
That is an ideological issue, and on that same basis it could be argued that the council shouldn’t be making grants for things like subsidies for theatre pieces, travel assistance for sportspeople and so on. A lot depends on the relative extent of it all, and unfortunately because of the enormous amounts of money that the council has squandered over the past 11 years, austerity measures will be needed in the next council.
Lyn Turner said:
WTF! The council has already paid for it and has been letting the house so one assumes it is in habitable condition, right? So here’s a thought……….why not just add it to the stock of pensioner/social housing? I don’t think there is a limit to how many a council can hold is there? For goodness sake KCDC, get a grip and act like decent human beings. I am sure other ratepayers like me would be happy for you to rent the house out for goodness sake.
Waikanae watcher said:
If the house and section was worth say $500,000, then at 4.6% interest, which is what the LGFA charges the council on its debt, the holding cost of it for ratepayers would be $23,000 a year. Deduct from that whatever the ‘market rental’ it is receiving for the house, then add things like insurance and routine maintenance, the cost to ratepayers is probably only a few thousand dollars a year.
Against that there is the market appreciation on the section which, as we have observed recently, will be a lot higher, so it makes no economic sense for the council to sell it. The council refuses to look at ways to reform and streamline its organisation which is where real economies can be made.