This proposed change will also maximise the use of central government support for tenants.

Council has more than 400 housing units. We rent 320 units to people on low incomes who:

  • are superannuitants or
  • have long term disabilities or
  • experience barriers to renting in the private market

We currently subsidise rents so they're affordable for tenants. We propose removing this subsidy and charging new tenants market rents (existing tenants would not pay market rates). This will increase the revenue from Council housing to enable us to gradually build more 1-2 bedroom units.

Any increase in rental surplus will be ring-fenced to build new homes (programme numbers 1459 and 1522). Assuming the new units are similar to current units and are built on Council land, we could build approximately 20 new homes over the next 10 years. We're also proposing to introduce a voluntary building warrant of fitness for all rental housing across the city.

Options and implications

Option 1 Option 2
Options Set rent at market rates for new tenants and use the surplus to build more units

This is our preferred option
Status quo – continue to provide and renew 320 units at subsidised rents to tenants.
Don’t build more units
City Implications An increase in the number of Council housing units that are fit for purpose. New tenants in Council units would pay market rent No new Council housing units. Current and new tenants receive subsidised rentals
Financial Implications No ratepayer subsidy and a surplus of $2m over 10 years which will be used to service the loans required to construct approximately 20 additional units A ratepayer subsidy of $1.9m over the 10 years.

This equals $5.10 p.a. to the average residential rate

Our 10 Year Plan consultation process has now closed. Thanks to everyone who has provided us with feedback on our projects and the options we laid out for them.

We will be finalising the 10 Year Plan based on this feedback in June and will confirm the option chosen once this is complete.

23 April, 2018

Bob says:

“Option one would be my preference. The ability to grow the housing stock is a positive.”

23 April, 2018

Brian T says:

“Active engagement in local housing should continue with up to market rates, mitigated by social housing needs of renter, e.g disabilities.”

23 April, 2018

Margret says:

“Option 1 assuming that needy people will get accommodationsupplement. But why discriminate?”

22 April, 2018

Hugh says:

“A voluntary housing WOF is insufficient. Good landlords will bear the cost and bad ones simply won't bother to get one.”

22 April, 2018

Hugh says:

“It seems disingenuous to claim that these are the only two options. Council housing is specifically for people who can't afford market rent.”

20 April, 2018

Kelly says:

“Option 2 is my preference. There is need out there for continued subsidised rent and charging market rates will isolate vulnerable families”

20 April, 2018

Frank Boulton says:

“If new customers were charged more than old for any other commodity, e.g. groceries, we would be up in arms, Why is accommodation different?”

20 April, 2018

Jono says:

“Option one for me please”

19 April, 2018

Fraser says:

“I see the dilemma but opening up to market rates will undermine part of the reason they exist: so tenants can be insulated from the market”

19 April, 2018

Frank Boulton says:

“Charging some tenants market rents and others subsidized rents would create inequality. It might also create resentment between tenants.”

19 April, 2018

Angela says:

“The government has accommodation supplements that help lower income families. School leavers as labour to build units will help unemployment”

17 April, 2018

Anne says:

“Council housing needs to be fit for purpose ecofriendly,environmentally substainable as well as providing a healthy home”