Earlier today Vicki Buck, OCHT board member, popped up on Facebook to offer assistance with the rubbish issue at Harman Courts.
I had a bunch of questions for Vicki as I simply don’t understand the view of the board towards social housing.
I tagged you to start to raise awareness with others that you are one of 7 board members on the trust.
Frankly I see a whole pile of issues here and I don’t know what the answers are.
On one hand this rubbish has sat for months (I’m told), on the other hand has it been left their at the knowing direction of the board to send a clear public message to the rest of the tenants?
Sitting in council meetings (you were there, you saw me sitting quietly), speaking with council staff, the message comes across very clearly that there is a great amount of division around the question of a civic response to housing.
Speaking with Martin Pearce, Tenancy Operations Manager, on Thursday, he appeared to hold the view that hosting a rubbish dump on one of the complexes in their control, wasn’t appropriate and that they should simply take ownership and clean this mess up. However I get the clear impression that his view is not representative of the board, or perhaps the CEO would have made sure that mess was going on Friday as promised.
MORE LAYERS TO THE ONION
However there appears to be many more layers to this question than first appeared.
No sooner did some action on some part of the clean up get under way, I got another ping from a resident about three more quite reasonable issues at the same complex. Needless to say I’ve now got the message that I really need to do a site visit and have a look, perhaps you’d like to join me?
From a governance point of view, I actually don’t know what the boards view is, and I’d like to.
If you want to make phone calls and follow something up, perhaps you’d like to call me and get me on the same page as the board around expectations – my number is 0211140699
At present there is less than 70% of the housing stock open according to information provided to election candidates.
Board members tell me they’re pleased with a $700,000+ saving on maintenance, but the same time it would appear (if I’m to believe tenants) that this has come about by simply not doing maintenance.
39% percent of tenants report being cold (according to the trusts own published survey), so getting a funding allocation for heating seemed like a great idea.
However, a month after that was approved by council, I’m told by Martin that there is still no program of work and that we should expect to wait until at least Christmas to see a program. By the time we take out the holidays, that will leave just over two months to install 930 heating systems.
If it takes 4 months just to make a plan, it’s going to take longer than 12 months to install!
PRIVATE MESSAGING AND “THE FACEBOOK PUB”
Finally, while I do PM from time to time, this is an issue that needs to be in the public domain. Others may choose to moderate my views, some may choose to endorse them. We should remember that I am not a tenant.
I am simply a member of the public who sees a $273 million dollar civic asset (assuming an average value of $100,000 per unit) not making a return to the civic and providing a very poor level of service to its customers.
I see $6.6m dollars of lost revenue per year as well. At the same time civic is asking me to pay over 5% more rates this year.