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Feedback sought on plan to accelerate housing renewals – Invercargill City Council

Invercargill City Council is asking residents what they think about a proposal to accelerate construction of new and upgraded housing for the elderly.

The proposal is included in the Council’s draft Long Term Plan (LTP) 2024-34, released at the end of February for public feedback. Residents are being asked to give their views on whether or not extra funding is set aside from rates to renew and replace aging houses faster.

Councillor Trish Boyle said much of the city’s housing was getting older and it had become more difficult for new residents, families and the elderly to find warm, dry and affordable homes to live in.

“We’re not alone in New Zealand as residents of many cities and towns are finding it harder to rent or buy suitable houses,” Cr Boyle said.

“Our Council’s approach to the issue includes three key initiatives, one of which is our proposal to accelerate the speed of our programme to renew and, where necessary, replace our housing units for elderly people. We’ve already started work on heat pump upgrades and double glazing, and four new units on Stirrat Street will be finished this month.

“Other key initiatives include updating the District Plan to promote better designed housing and allow increased density in some areas, and to investigate opportunities to make the best use of Council land, some of which may be suitable for housing development.

“We want to know what residents think about this approach to housing, particularly if they agree with us taking funding from general rates to accelerate renewals for elderly people; that means warmer, healthier homes for our elderly and would also take pressure off other housing availability.”

At present, all maintenance of council housing stock is funded from rentals. We’d like your feedback on two options for the future:

– Option 1 – provide $8.1m from general rates over eight years to help replace aging houses faster. This would add 0.08% to rates in 2024/25.

– Option 2 – maintain the current funding policy, with no change to rates. Manager Strategy, Policy and Engagement Rhiannon Suter said feedback on the housing plan could be made at the same time as any of the other proposals set out in the draft LTP.

“Your views on the housing proposal, and on any of the other projects, activities and services set out in Our Roadmap for Our People, are an important part of Council’s decision-making process. We want to know what you think, so make a submission and tell us your views.”

To learn more visit letstalk.icc.govt.nz, or pick up a copy of the Consultation Document from Te Hīnaki Civic Building at 101 Esk St, the Invercargill Public Library, Bluff Service Centre, Splash Palace or Murihiku Marae.

Follow Council’s Facebook page for a Bluff Facebook live session and ask your questions live online, at 6pm on Wednesday 27 March.

You can also have a chat with Councillors and Council staff at an in-person engagement session. Upcoming sessions will be held at Nichol’s Garden Café, the Invercargill Public Library, and Windsor New World. For times and location information on in-person sessions, visit letstalk.icc.govt.nz.

You can also send in a video submission via letstalk.icc.govt.nz, or set up a ‘cuppa and a chat’ with the team by emailing policy@icc.govt.nz or calling 03 211 1777.

To give your feedback, submit online at letstalk.icc.govt.nz, post it or drop it off at Te Hīnaki Civic Building at 101 Esk St, the Invercargill Public Library, Bluff Service Centre, Splash Palace or Murihiku Marae.

Submissions are due by 5pm, Tuesday 2 April.

 

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