Seymour shows a lack of understanding

Press Release – Auckland Community Housing Network

24 May 2018

Seymour shows a lack of understanding, says Auckland community housing providers

Auckland community housing providers are urging communities to show greater understanding of their neighbours, rather than greeting people living in social housing with ill-founded condemnation.

The comments come in the wake of ACT leader David Seymour writing to his Epsom constituents warning against the potential risk mentally ill social housing tenants could pose. Housing NZ has a proposal to build a 25-unit complex in Epsom.

Auckland Community Housing Provider Network chair Hope Simonsen says his opinions are a sad reflection on the views of some in our community who show a complete misunderstanding of the communities who live in social housing.

“Shouldn’t we be wanting to grow a community that works for everyone? The focus should be on creating an Auckland that grows for all Aucklanders. The whole “not in my backyard’ attitude shows a lack of compassion and is completely misdirected.

“It’s sad to hear perceptions around a HNZC development as being negative for a neighbourhood. What we need to be discussing are the success factors for mixed communities, and enable them to thrive. “

Hope Simonsen says Auckland Community Housing Provider Networks comprises of 20 organisations working hard to deliver ermergecy, social and affordable ownership options. They have had a lot of success in creating successful mixed communities, and urges David Seymour to have a close look at these communities.

“Our approach is different in that we prefer to first work in a neighbourhood to understand it, what makes it successful, then ensure that the development of new housing supports that. It works well when we integrate a range of tenure options – sure, some social housing but also lots of affordable rental and rent to buy, shared ownership. You can also count on the community housing provider to be around long term which provides stability.”

The community housing providers respect that different families have different hopes, and different needs, she says.

“Not every person who is struggling to afford their rent needs to have wrap around services, it should always be the choice of the person.”

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