On Monday, the Community Development Committee will consider the draft Social Housing Strategy (2014) and, if approved it will go out for public consultation.
Palmerston North City Council is the second largest provider of social housing in the city with 311 housing units providing subsidised accommodation for older people on low incomes and people on low incomes who have long term disabilities. As well as that, Council owns 100 public housing units. These are rented out at market rates and are not targeted to particular groups of tenants.
Acting Mayor Jim Jefferies says the draft strategy reaffirms Council's current commitment to social and public housing tenants.
"There are no plans to alter our commitment to our tenants. Instead, we want to have a conversation with our tenants, support agencies and the wider community about the future."
Palmerston North City Council chief executive Paddy Clifford says the aim of the draft strategy is to provide warm, stable and affordable housing for people on low incomes who are aged 65 plus; or have long term disabilities; or experience barriers to meeting their housing needs in the private market.
"We want to ensure the most effective use of resources in supporting the provision of social housing and also support an increase in social housing in Palmerston North," says Mr Clifford.
The draft strategy asks tenants, ratepayers, residents and Councillors a number of questions:
- Who should Council's social housing be for?
- Should Council's public housing come under the social housing umbrella.
- Should Council adopt a Warrant of Fitness scheme for social housing?
- Should Council convert its bedsit stock to one bedroom units?
- Should Council provide additional social support services for tenants in need?
- What role does the Council have in trying to increase social housing provision in Palmerston North?
Paddy Clifford says that while consultation is being carried out, officers will prepare a report on models for delivery of social housing to be considered by Councillors in the next financial year. If councillors approve a change in delivery then it will be consulted on with the public.
Manager community engagement Cathy McCartney says officers delivered letters to tenants in both social and public housing advising them of the consultation this week. Council will commit staff time to visit social housing complexes to talk with residents about the draft strategy to ensure their opinions are captured and presented to Councillors in February next year.