This afternoon I got an email back from Bob Hardie, Senior Housing Advisor, Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust and then followed up with a quick phone call.
Stephen McPaike picked up that this list has units listed that were not in the spreadsheet that came from CCC last week (that was part of an information request by a candidate during the election process).
The question all this presents is, who actually knows how much social housing Christchurch has and how do elected members become informed?
Bob commented that they don’t report back to CCC, which is quite reasonable, and it occurred to me if OCHT are this willing to provide me with information then clearly they would do the same for CCC if they asked, it’s not like a count of housing is a secret!
I like Bob, he was easy to chat to and very informative.
I also asked about closed units and how long they stay closed. Bob explained that they aim for between 11 and 15 days, which I expressed is very reasonable. When I’ve turned over rentals in the past it can take a few weeks to clean things up and get them to a level you want to present.
Bob also explained that the trust has been trying to raise the level of quality in the unit stock as they turn them over, also seems very reasonable…. actually there wasn’t anything in our brief 10 minute conversation that I didn’t find reasonable.
We also talked about how the open and closed units are quite fluid as tenants change and that drug use in the units is one of the biggest challenges. That last one I can personally relate with having done a couple of meth decontamination’s.
So, while a very helpful conversation, I’m now left with more questions than I started with and pondering how elected officials can be expected to make planning choices when no one seems to have the full picture.
However, on balance, I also think we shouldn’t get alarmed about this as we have some reasonable rough idea and everyone seems to agree that we need more social housing. The only thing we don’t seem to agree on right now is if we’re moving fast enough and how we might move faster.