Rent rise for council housing tenants

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 12:49 26/02/2013

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Tenants in Christchurch City Council housing units face a 3.8 per cent rent rise in July.

The rise is detailed in the council's draft three-year plan.

Cr Glenn Livingstone tried to convince councillors the proposed rise should not apply to tenants living in unrepaired units with more than minor quake damage but failed to get his amendment passed.

He argued that as a private landlord he would not be able to look a tenant in the eye and tell them their rent was going up if the house they were in had been damaged by the quake and had not yet been repaired.

As a good landlord the council had to treat its tenants fairly, he said.

"I don't believe it is fair to have an increase for those whose units have not been repaired,'' Livingstone said.

Cr Yani Johanson, who chairs the committee responsible for overseeing social housing, also argued sparing tenants in badly damaged units a rent increase was the right thing to do.

"I'm not sure this is going to affect a lot of tenants but it is something, in terms of being a good landlord, that we should look at doing,'' Johanson said.

But other councillors expressed concern at the ramifications of Livingstone's amendment. They were worried it would mean less money was available in the council's housing fund for new housing stock.

Livingstone's amendment was lost four votes to 10.

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- The Press

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