Market Rents Protest in Palmerston North

May 29, 2018

A small handful of protesters publicly displayed their opposition to a move by Palmerston North city officials to charge future council-owned housing tenants market rents.

 

Half a dozen people were in The Square recently to rally opposition to the city council move.

 

The Manawatū Tenants' Union spoke out against the plans in April, and the protest comes hard on the heels of a public meeting called last week to lobby councillors to aband

on the proposal.

 

Protest organiser Maruna Engu asked city councillors to "take a breather" to seek advice from

experts and other cities to find another source of funding for new council homes.

 

Despite the protests, city councillor Susan Baty, who holds the council's housing portfolio, has

stood firm in defence of the plan.

 

Baty's calculations show only a small increase in rent for new tenants, should the proposal be

ratified, compared with what they would pay now.

 

Baty has said once 300 subsidised flats were rented out at the market rental, the council would

make an extra $2 million in 10 years, and could afford to build more units.

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