Papamoa residents not keen on helping house the homeless

It seems to be an almost universal human condition that most people who claim they want to help others back off at a hundred miles an hour if the  “helping” puts their own lifestyle at risk. We have plenty of generous souls who say that New Zealand should increase its refugee quota and who want the government to spend more tax dollars on helping the homeless. When the solution is in their own backyard however and their personal safety and their house values are put at risk their enthusiasm for helping others evaporates like a car park puddle in the summer heat. Papamoa is a great example of this as residents there have created a petition that opposes an emergency housing village.

A coalition of Papamoa residents has lodged a petition opposing the development of an emergency housing “village” in the suburb.

…Papamoa’s Grahame Smith, who helped organise and circulate the petition, said 112 people who lived near the Opal Drive site had signed the petition, copies of which were presented to Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller on Monday.

A 19-unit village is planned for the vacant 6500sq m council-owned block in Opal Drive, where families could stay and receive support until they were ready to move into permanent accommodation. The average stay would be about 12 weeks.

Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development have lodged a resource consent application for the village with Tauranga City Council.

Last month they were aiming to start shifting pre-assembled houses on to the site in late August.

…Grahame Smith said neighbours of the site were outraged at the deal being done before consulting the community.

Mr Smith and the other Papamoa residents who organised the petition called for the Memorandum of Understanding to be cancelled and for the council to withdraw the land for lease.

…Mr Muller confirmed he had attended two meetings in the homes of worried residents.

He said he had heard their concerns and explained the rationale behind emergency housing and later fed their concerns back to Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro, the council and the ministry.

Mr Ngaro said he was disappointed to hear people were opposed to a development that would help other ordinary Tauranga families.

“Many families are in situations that we could all find ourselves in, were an unfortunate set of circumstances to happen.”

He is quite right of course as the emergency housing is desperately needed and the homeless do have to be housed somewhere.Have you noticed though that local body politicians and councillors rarely place refugees or the homeless in their own suburbs? I suspect that they don’t do so for the exact same reasons that these Papamoa residents don’t want them in theirs.

Those might include people unable to find or afford a new rental after theirs was sold, or people struggling with a reduced income after a separation or injury.

“The point is these are local families and they need our help.”

He said the community had been told about the proposed plans as early as possible, once the details were clear enough to share and lodge a consent application.

“We’ve been extremely open with the community, offering a contact person for people to call and speak with and have even held a drop-in community meeting last week where people could raise any concerns they had with both council and ministry officials…

The below video is another example of people who support charity unless it involves them.

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