If public health and safety is at risk Housing New Zealand is right to relocate tenants from the heritage art deco flats in Symonds Street. Warning bells are ringing with heritage advocates. Their concerns are real. If refurbishment costs are high then debate will occur over the merits of the building.
A more important issue is the loss of income related rents for working people. The Herald reports that the building was built in 1948 for low income single people and couples without children
City industries and business are impacted on by the shortage of affordable housing .
The fact that flats were built in the city sixty years ago indicate this is not a new issue.
It is now a question that we have to talk about and hopefully find some solutions.
With the closure of institutions and the loss of boarding houses people with acute needs are now the folk who get preference for the declining resouse. They are fortunate to have advocates.
Their social needs should be to be met to.
However we need to house low income workers who our city needs to keep the wheels of industry turning.
The local election campaign is time to discuss this.