Waiheke Climate Alliance members Kathy Voyles and Hana Blackmore made a presentation to the monthly Waiheke Local Board meeting asking for action to combat Waiheke’s housing crisis.
Hana approached the local board with hard facts about the current housing situation. The island had lost three professionals in previous weeks because they were unable to find affordable accommodation.
“All they left behind were some jars and cans with some flour in them, and that’s it,” said Hana.
The people Hana mentioned during the presentation were an environmental activist who owned a house, sold it, then bought a tiny house but couldn’t find a place to put it long-term; a caterer who worked at the market for several years and a disabled woman who made reusable bags for the Waiheke Resources Trust who is now in an assisted care unit two hours away by public transport, making it impossible for friends and family to visit.
Kathy said: “I know when people leave because they leave their uneaten food at the Kai Conscious Café. We missed them and we miss our people every day because of this situation.”
The Climate Alliance members stressed the importance of immediate action by explaining how the situation affects different members of the community.
“Just like Thames, we are a hyper-aged community. It means we are getting older and less able,” said Kathy. “Therefore, we need more carers, better infrastructure and better services.”
The climate advocacy group listed several options for battling the island’s housing crisis by asking the board to set up a housing crisis committee to deal with the issue.
“I suggest it would comprise members of the board, a council member and a Waiheke Community Housing Trust member, a member from the business community and the MP,” said Kathy. • Silvia Massa
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