18 Mar 2010

Wellington council flat overhaul draws criticism

8:04 am on 18 March 2010

A $220 million overhaul of council flats in Wellington is being criticised for decreasing the number of bedsits available to residents.

The upgrade is a joint project between the Wellington City Council and Housing New Zealand, to rejuvenate 40 housing complexes over the next two decades.

But the Prisoner Reintegration Network, Easy Access Housing and the Downtown Community Ministry are disappointed that the number of bedsits will fall from 961 to 618.

Bedsit resident Michael Dunningham says the council underestimates the large number of single people looking for cheap accommodation in Wellington.

The council says community needs have changed over the years and its housing stock must reflect that.