A letter in The Press today points out something which ratepayers must keep in mind:
The controversy over the Christchurch City Council housing rentals, and the narrow victory for the ratepayers at the recent council meeting, highlights the fiscal risk to ratepayers and the urgent need to review all aspects of council housing.
On no account should the number of units be increased, because even the present relatively small proportion of council tenants came close to forcing ratepayers, many no better off than the tenants, to continue to shoulder the burden of the tenants' income support.
The rentals should be at market rates, and those tenants who qualify for a subsidy should get it from central government. This would have the advantage of portability as the subsidy would apply to the person, not the house.
Rents must be set annually so that large increases are unlikely. It is obvious that increasing the rentals is a political nightmare but they are part of responsible management...
This is a very good point. As I mentioned earlier, perhaps 1.5% of ratepayers are in social housing. It is amazing the number of friends they have. It seems like almost an entire industry has risen up on their side - there has been a barrage of letters nearly very day for weeks. This is one of the very few to be printed on the side of the ratepayers.
Affordable housing is a very important issue. The way to resolve it is to remove council restrictions on land development which have raised prices to ridiculous levels.