16 Sep 2017

Kāpiti taskforce wants action on housing

1:09 pm on 16 September 2017

Meeting a couple with three young children living in a leaky garage has spurred Kāpiti's mayor to increase social housing in his district.

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Kāpiti coast Photo: 123rf

A community housing taskforce, established by the mayor, K. Gurunathan, earlier this year, has released a report showing more people are becoming homeless as a result of skyrocketing house prices and rents

Mr Gurunathan said the seriousness of the situation was brought home to him when he met the family living in a garage.

"That really brought to the fore for me, the responsibility as a mayor to say, 'Look, I don't want to see this in my community - this is terrible that it's happening here.'"

Mr Gurunathan said the council could look at increasing its stock of 118 pensioner units or ways to develop surplus land from the new Kāpiti Expressway.

The taskforce included representatives from the building industry, social services and government.

Chair Paul Hughes said high house prices were sucking the life out of the district and the market was not delivering what the community needs.

He also highlighted the option of developing surplus land from the expressway.

Motorway developments have removed about 100 existing homes and overloaded the rental supply market with the need to house hundreds of construction workers and their families.

The report will be considered by council for inclusion in its draft long term plan next year.

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