Shocker levy on red zone unit shift

Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014

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A $41,000 city council charge for moving three units has shocked a trust aiming to get people into affordable housing.

Community Housing Trust representative Garry Moore said for all the talk about providing affordable housing, everything seemed to be against it happening.

The former Christchurch mayor told the city council's strategy and planning committee yesterday he was billed about $41,000 for development contributions for shifting three two-bedroom units from Sumner to Addington.

"It sort of hit home to me that these houses have already paid a development contribution levy when they were built," Moore said. "It's almost a double tax."

Development contributions needed to be looked at urgently as large numbers of red zone houses were already being destroyed, and they could become affordable homes for young families, he said.

"We wouldn't deny that there was a need for a small charge, but this sort of level of charge is excessive."

Moore suggested $5000 for each house being shifted out of the red-zone.

Council chief planning officer Mike Theelen said it was conscious of the issue as the development contribution for relocating homes for affordable housing could look "disproportionately large".

Committee chairman Jamie Gough said some council policies were not made for a post-disaster environment.

"We desperately want to rebuild this city and we have a housing shortage. We have a not-for-profit group trying to address this and they are effectively being penalised and is that fair? Probably not. Does something need to be done about it? Probably so."

Theelen said he would look into whether there was any interim step that could be taken.

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- The Press

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