We need good urban development in Auckland. The city is crying out for urban renewal, more affordable healthy homes, public transport, you name it.
But in Glen Innes where Housing NZ is redeveloping 156 of their properties the Government is breaking every rule in the book, and giving urban renewal a bad name.
At a lively public meeting in GI last night, three hapless National backbenchers (the new member for Tamaki Simon O’Connor, list member Alfred Ngaro who was a community worker in the area, and neighbouring MP Sam Lotu-Iiga) got an old fashioned bollocking from a crowd of around 300 including many Housing NZ tenants facing eviction.
At least they turned up, which is more than can be said for Housing Minister Phil Heatley.
Under his watch, National has reneged on commitments made by the Labour Government when it started the project. They have walked away from the pledge that residents would have the right to move back into the community after the redevelopment. They have broken the promise the number of Housing NZ properties would be increased. And they dropped the community development process that was part of the original design.
Housing NZ reports the current 156 properties will be redeveloped to generate 260 new properties. Only 78 will be owned by Housing NZ. Another 39 “affordable” properties will possibly be managed by community agencies although I understand all expressions of interest were recently rejected and it is uncertain what will happen to them now. The remainder will all be sold to the highest bidders.
No wonder the dozens of GI residents who have received eviction notices were enraged at last night’s meeting and howled down O’Connor, Ngaro and Lotu-Iiga down as sell outs.
It is a disgrace what is happening in GI. National’s perverted version of urban renewal is moving poor people out, and shipping the rich in, as if low income Kiwis should not be allowed a sea view. Just as John Key stripped the state housing out of the new development in Hobsonville in his electorate.
The people of Glen Innes deserve our support.