March 2016 - Opinion piece on Riverside Gardens
Like other media, last week The Listener, in their Psychology column, talked about the Riverside Gardens redevelopment.
Read our letter to The Editor in response to the article:
"Marc Wilson’s 5 March column Suburban Dreams seems to be saying that housing and community needs are not met by bricks and mortar alone and we agree. Providing a range of good quality, healthy, affordable secure homes is part of the solution to complex community/social problems. However, we would like to see more emphasis placed on the positive outcomes of the sort of redevelopment he mentions in his column.
The whole principle of mixed communities is one that has very strong NZ roots as, historically, NZ has been more egalitarian than the UK, with people not stratified and separated on the basis of class or income. Is this community really that different from most of our suburbs and communities in NZ, where a mix of people live? Also not all “have-nots” or people who live in social housing are into criminal behaviour! Our experience of providing social housing for 35 years is that most people want to get on with their lives and do their best for their families and their community.
Dwell is proud to have been part of the redevelopment. Some of the homes we provided there were part of our shared home ownership programme. This enabled those families who wanted to own, but couldn’t afford to buy on the market, to buy their own home. If more govt support had been in place we would have provided more homes. It is a big improvement on what was there before and the feedback we have had has been mostly positive. The new housing has provided new opportunities and better options for many people, and the community as a whole."