Tag Archives: compassion horowhenua

HDC’s agreement with the buyer of the community housing expires in 12 years, it is not long term

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HDC Pensioner Housing sold for the song of $5.2 mill

So the suspicions of many of us were not unfounded, highlighted here by Labour Party’s Rob McCann. Those services promised for the life of the pensioner housing tenants’ contracts may likely come unwrapped & get tossed in the recycle bin in 12 years time. We were assured that their current contracts with HDC would continue, and yet the agreement with the property developer cum community housing provider we’re told actually has an end date & HDC isn’t highlighting that. The tenants who were ‘consulted’

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Tenants were consulted ‘vigorously’ over a free dinner

vigorously (over a free dinner) are currently of the understanding things won’t be changing. But all the warm, fuzzy spin about the long term wrap around services are likely just that. Spin. They were sugar coating the bitter pill of privatization methinks. Funny isn’t it? Privatization (aka selling off the family silver) was always sold to us as such a good thing.  Like the Emperor’s new clothes. But we all know it’s not & that’s especially illustrated by the fact that they surround it with smoke and mirrors.  In this case they threw the one dissenting voice off the housing committee to allow for ‘true’ democracy to occur.  (That was the Mayor who it seems isn’t allowed to exercise his democratic right to disagree with them). Then they conducted everything in private secret-squirrel style. ‘Nothing to see here’.

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‘Compassion Horowhenua’, sugar coating the bitter pill of privatization?

Alternatively they coat the sell-off plans with sugar by including terms like ‘wrap around services’, ‘social commitment’, ‘inclusiveness’, ‘affordability’, ‘sustainability’ (that Agenda 21 buzz word again), ‘compassion’, ‘specialist support’ and so on. Some of us though don’t fall for that. The older folks among us can sniff a rodent five miles away. They remember how it used to be (full employment, all housed, healthy kids, very little poverty) but lived through the era when Rogernomics drove us down the promised path of prosperity that now sees us featuring in UNICEF’s hall-of-shame stats. Highest teen suicide rate in the world? Well done NZ.  And welcome to the new fuzzy world of global citizenship and global governance. Joining any dots folks? It’s simply not adding up.
EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 


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Horowhenua District Council being economic with the truth

From Scoop Media

Horowhenua District Council being economic with the truth on housing sales

 

“This is privatisation of public assets. Simply put, it is an asset sale, and the manner of the sale almost beggars belief,” says Mr McCann.


“Horowhenua District Council’s sale of pensioner flats has left many important questions unanswered”, says Otaki’s Labour candidate, Rob McCann, who is adamantly opposed to the sale.

“The Council has opted not to point out to the public that the agreement with the new providers expires in just 12 years. That is, quite simply, unbelievable.
“One of the community’s major concerns was to ensure that the dwellings would remain as Pensioner Housing stock. And yet, here it is in writing, that the agreement lasts only for twelve years. That is stunning, and makes a mockery of the council talking about the “best fit” and “solution” for the community. The deal allows for a future where there is no guarantee that these Pensioner Flats even remain as community housing.”

Mr McCann says the Council has also opted not to highlight that only 105 of the 115 houses are covered by the social housing purpose. “What will happen to the other ten? And there is little mention of the 1.1 hectares of land plot that is part of the sale. Will this be given to the property developers?”

Astoundingly, there is simply no guarantee that the housing will even remain as ‘Pensioner Housing’, given CE David Clapperton’s reference to it merely as ‘Community Housing’, as reported in the Horowhenua Chronicle.

“This is privatisation of public assets. Simply put, it is an asset sale, and the manner of the sale almost beggars belief,” says Mr McCann.

“The Council outlined the sale of the Pensioner flats at a press conference without even inviting the Mayor. This is extraordinary. Whether you agree with his stance on various issues or not, to exclude the Mayor just because he opposes the sale is simply another example of a flawed sale process conducted by this council.

“It seems that the council has opted to continue to ‘spin the sale’ to the public, rather than reveal all the details, and it was therefore disappointing to see a local front page story without a number of pertinent facts,” says Mr McCann.

“I understand that the press conference was hastily called once details of the sale were leaked, especially the information that the prospective purchasers – and ultimate owners of the land and housing stock – are property developers, not social housing providers,” said Mr McCann.

“There is a clear housing crisis in this country, and decisions such as this represent a transfer of wealth from the community to the private sector. This does nothing to avert the housing crisis”.

Mr McCann says that Horowhenua District Council must answer these questions and also discontinue this appalling process.

© Scoop Media

Why did a large property developer register a company called ‘Compassion Horowhenua’ a week before Horowhenua’s community housing sold? (Includes updates)

 NOTE: Due to the unfolding nature of this topic, check back regularly for further updates which will be included at the end of this article. Thank you.

You may be aware that the Horowhenua’s pensioner houses have been sold as of last week. The announcement came shortly after the secret meeting precluded by the public allowed section when it was clear any last ditch attempts by the Mayor to delay the sale or even the decision to sell were squashed (all at the above link). We have been given eight weeks to hear who bought them but have been reassured that the new owners will be providing wrap around services far superior to what HDC have offered. We were also told they had to sell because of the financial logistics. Not viable. Too much debt. You can read the details of that in the various news reports.

Today, At the Nua, a Horowhenua FB page, posted a very pertinent and intriguing question. It appears someone has been doing a bit of research around the sale of the housing & come up with some interesting information … here is a quote from the page:

“Why on 16 May 2017 has a Wellington Developer, Willis Bond & Co, registered several new companies like “Compassion Horowhenua” and “WB Horowhenua”- so who is BEHIND the companies looking to acquire the community houses?

The councillors have led us to believe that the new owner is the “Sisters of Compassion” but are they just a “front” for a property investment by this Wellington Developer?”

I’ve had a search myself around the companies register and found the following (which by the way is obviously publicly accessible and not private confidential knowledge). It is certainly interesting that these businesses were registered just one week before the highly secretive sale. Nobody will argue they have been secretive. The Mayor was taken off the committee for the sale (due to said conflict of interest, he’s always opposed the sale for very good reasons) and the establishment have discussed the entire affair behind closed doors. HDC has also declined to open the books. (For further info on the goings on at HDC see the Horowhenua sub page under our Local Govt Watch pages).  And watch this space because hopefully there will be some explanations forthcoming on this. And in eight weeks hopefully we are going to hear what price the houses went for.

 

UPDATES
31 May 2017

It’s been confirmed that the sale was/is to the property developer. This information is from At the Nua on FB :

http://willisbond.co.nz/

“Confirmed – Wellington Property Development company Willis Bond & Co is behind offer to purchase Horowhenua Community Housing.

This company will be the OWNER of the Community Housing NOT Sisters of Compassion as we have been led to believe…”

In addition read our latest article taken from FB with permission and posted by the Horowhenua Ratepayers and Residents Assn. at their page:
A Horowhenua Group has presented 2,300+ signatures to HDC opposing the community housing sale & raise many unanswered questions about this secret deal (

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