Statement from Housing Board
Further to our communication last month regarding our supposed removal from our positions as Housing Board members, we would like to let the community know that we are still functioning, although only in a very limited sense due to being locked out from all of the Housing Google accounts and being unable to access the Housing Service offices. We recognise the actions carried out by the ‘GB FAMC’ and the new team that they have installed have caused confusion in the community which is regrettable.
It is to be noted that the Office Order No 436 issued and signed by the representative of the Auroville Foundation only mentioned the reconstitution of the Housing Service, which “is responsible for the daily administration and attendance to Auroville’s housing issues” (Housing Mandate, 2021, p. 3)
What has become very obvious is that the new team installed in Housing Service are acting outside of their mandate.
The Housing Group in its present form, Housing Service and Housing Board, was approved through a community process in 2017.
Housing Board has been defined as the decision-making arm of the Housing Group, with Housing Service meant only to refer to & act upon the decisions of the Housing Board.
Certain matters – particularly regarding the approval of the allocation of residential assets which should as per the Housing Mandate reside solely with the Housing Board – have been brought to our attention which show that the new team are overstepping their mandate and are making unilateral decisions.
Already, some of these decisions have led to Auroville assets being allocated without following the guidelines of the Housing Policy. The fact that this team is acting in this way is particularly concerning, as all but one person in the housing team are very new to the work of the Housing Service. It is our concern that this may be leading to a situation where the only senior member of the Service with most of the history and background information on the different matters, could influence the decisions and actions taken. We strongly feel that it is not acceptable for one person to have the ability to shape very important decisions in this way.
We understand that it is not possible to ask the community not to approach the new team as many day-to-day issues are urgent and have to be dealt with. However, we advise the community to approach them with care and ask for all decisions to be given in writing.
Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] if you have any concerns you would like to raise with us.
The Housing Board
Amy L. (Housing Service), Angela (Community), Aravindh (Housing Service), Bharathy (Community), Iyyappan (Community), Rima (Community), Venkat (Community).