understanding the housing needs and priorities of the district.
“No central government agency is now going to do that.”
Mr Caddie said Government programmes like the Kainga Whenua programme, designed to help those wanting to build on multiply-owned Maori land, had failed.
“Only four loans have been granted in two years, which has taken millions away from initiatives like the rural housing programme, that has provided assistance for many properties in the Gisborne district to have minor repairs to make them healthier and safer.
“Gisborne has few, if any, social housing providers. This is a major issue the council needs to help address.
“That doesn’t mean the council has to provide social housing but it could mean a review of our pensioner housing to see if it is the best use for the asset.
“We really need to understand the local issues. A council staff member has recently discovered that the WINZ accommodation
supplement for Gisborne is lower than in Rotorua, where the average rent is lower.
“In the absence of any other organisation doing this kind of analysis, the council must step up or support a regional community housing organisation to develop.”
Senior economic development officer Phil Wauchop, in the report for the community development committee, said a clear understanding of central government, local government and other key stakeholders’ roles was needed.
Mr Wauchop said responsibilities and priorities, plus funding mechanisms, was “the first step required” to ensure an effective
management of housing issues.
“The role of local government in housing issues have varied over time and often reflected the role and policy implications adopted
by the central government of the day.
“Traditionally, the local government stance is that core social assistance spending is a taxpayer responsibility, not the ratepayer’s.
“This stance has been based on the view that the role of income redistribution belongs to the entity that has access to the income tax base.”