Housing for Older Persons focus of Council’s decisions

Press Release – Hamilton City Council

The sale of all or part of Hamilton City Council’s Housing for Older Persons portfolio is on the cards after elected members voted 9-1 in support of the move at Friday’s meeting to form a draft 10-Year Plan. The meeting was the latest in a series taking … Housing for Older Persons focus of Council’s decisions

Monday, 3 October 2011

The sale of all or part of Hamilton City Council’s Housing for Older Persons portfolio is on the cards after elected members voted 9-1 in support of the move at Friday’s meeting to form a draft 10-Year Plan.

The meeting was the latest in a series taking place throughout September and October to make operational savings of $14.5 million in order to keep the city’s debt under control.

Council endorsed the possible future sale of three of its Housing for Older Persons complexes on the open market. The properties at River Road, Johnson St and Ascot Reid Ryan are of lower standard and harder to tenant than other complexes in the portfolio. Proceeds from the sales would to go into the Housing Portfolio Reserve to top up current funds held in reserve of $240,000. Council staff would work with tenants residing in these complexes to find alternative accommodation prior to sale.

In addition to these possible sales, Council also agreed in principle to sell all or part of the remaining 21 complexes for older people to a significant social housing provider or providers, with the first approach to be made to Housing New Zealand. As a result the current renewals spend for the property portfolio would be reduced from the proposed $606,000 to $305,000 in 2012-13, and from the proposed $733,000 to $260,000 in 2013-14.

A change from the current two tier rental system to a single tier system, review of rental increases annually as opposed to every three years, and alignment of rents with the Local Government market benchmark were other measures endorsed by Council on Friday, which would see an annual increase in income of $380,000.

Around 80 members of the public attended Friday’s meeting, with 10 people including local MPs taking the opportunity to speak directly to elected members as part of a public forum.

The public can formally have their say about Friday’s recommendation early next year when the draft 10-Year Plan is open for public consultation. Views can also be made informally through an online forum at http://getinvolved.hcc.govt.nz/smartthinking

ENDS

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