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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 08:01 am

Capital housing shortage worse for singles

Mar 23rd, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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UPGRADE PLANNED: Concerns remain for single people.

PEOPLE living alone will find it harder to find a home under the Wellington City Council’s draft social housing policy.

Oral submissions on the draft policy, heard last week by the council, were generally in favour of social housing upgrades, but there were concerns about cuts to one-person accommodation.

The council needs to show more leadership to address the “critical housing shortage”, says director of the Downtown Community Ministry, Stephanie McIntyre.

While the draft policy states that the number of one-person households will increase significantly, the council is failing to provide enough single-person units, she says.

Council housing data show demand is highest for bedsit and one-bedroom units, but the housing upgrade project will cut one-person accommodation by 251 units.

Prison Reintegration Network spokesperson Susan Gordon says cuts in single-person housing will have a negative impact on prisoners re-entering the community, with negative consequences for all of Wellington.

“We already find that there is a shortage of suitable accommodation for prisoners upon release,” she says.

Ms Gordon made a similar submission on behalf of Easy Access Housing, which provides transitional housing for people with experience of mental health issues.

“Our clients are single and homeless,” she says. 

Council communications adviser Michelle Brooker says submissions will be considered before a final social housing policy is presented to councillors for approval later this year.

The social housing upgrades are part of a 20-year project to make council-owned homes safer, warmer and more modern.

The Government is contributing $220 million in the first decade and the council will be using rental income to finance the following 10 years.

Work is well under way on Newtown’s Te Ara Hou housing complex and is scheduled to be finished by June.

The council received a total of 26 written submissions on the draft policy.

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