Remember how the National party sold off literally thousands of our State Homes? Homes built so that no NZers would be without a roof over their heads.
There were some very big question marks over the legality of some of those sales….
Thousands of properties land banked for greedy property developers, now laughing all the way to the banks. Those homes once helped house the now 43K plus homeless we have in NZ.
Over the recent years as these houses disappeared, I’ve read many comments from bloggers who have also watched this. Many folk were evicted from our State Homes with what appears to be little good justification. One I read the other day, folk in the Wellington region were evicted for property development, and the evicted are still homeless. Following is the tale of another unfortunate Tamaki family evicted just weeks after their mother died:
So, no surprizes that now folk are languishing in garages, sheds, cars even. Unable to put a roof over their heads due also to the obscenely large rentals being charged, all helped along by the fact there is little housing to be had. The good old supply & demand mentality on steroids that is now seeing the rich getting richer & the poor getting even poorer. Thanks to Roger Douglas & the Neo Liberal ‘experiment’.
Here is the article highlighting the rental shortage in Napier.
Napier families who are desperate for housing are applying for flatshares and one-bedroom units.
A Napier landlord who posted an advertisement for a one-bedroom unit on TradeMe got more than 900 inquiries within 24 hours.
“We pulled it because we got 946 replies… I honestly couldn’t believe there were that many people wanting a place.”
The one-bedroom unit in Tamatea was available for $285 a week.
Several applicants were families who simply could not find anywhere else to live, he said.
“We put in the ad that it was not suitable for families or children, but they were quite willing to say the kids can sleep in the bedroom and we’ll sleep in the lounge.”
Most of those who inquired were unwilling to fill in an application form asking for reference checks and a police check.
This helped the landlord whittle down the list to about 50 people, who were invited to view the property at an open day, he said.
“Even then you could tell some people were desperate, a couple of them had tears in their eyes when they were talking to us.”
Another Napier man searching for two flatmates to share his Ahuriri home said he was getting dozens of calls and texts each day – and many were from families.
On four different occasions he had families turning up to sign a tenancy, when he was expecting a single person to show up.
“They led me to believe that the room was only for one person,” he said.
Hawke’s Bay Properties director Dee Penno was not surprised.
“There is just absolute desperation out there,” she said.
“You get all these applicants and how do you pick? Which desperate person do you pick?”
More than 200 inquiries had already been made in response to a current TradeMe ad for a one-bedroom flat in the Napier suburb of Maraenui, available for $260 a week.
Prospective tenants would often offer more than the advertised price in order to secure a home, Ms Penno said.
“And I also have people that ring up literally two minutes after I’ve listed it wanting to see the house before anyone else, begging down the phone.”
Proposed new requirements for rental properties, such as insulation and heating, would make the situation worse, Ms Penno said.
A lot of landlords had sold up over the last 18 months, because of the buoyant market in Hawke’s Bay, she said.
And she predicted it would only get worse, if stricter requirements for rental properties came into force.
“It is scaring a lot of landlords off… and I think we will see a lot of Mum and Dad investors with one rental property saying ‘this is too hard, we’re out’,” she said.
Hawke’s Bay rents had risen the fastest in the country, jumping 14 percent in the last year to a record high of $480 in August, according to figures from TradeMe.
The number of emergency housing special needs grants given to pay for emergency motel accommodation had tripled in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne between the March and June quarters, Ministry for Social Development (MSD) figures showed.
More people were coming to MSD for help, just as it had asked them to, an MSD spokesperson said.
MSD usually saw an increase in those needing help over the winter months.
“A high proportion of the people on the Social Housing Register in the East Coast region are living in insecure housing – accommodation that is unsuitable on a long-term basis. Winter will be making things worse for those people,” MSD said.
By Anusha Bradley