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Housing crisis appals MP - Tauranga

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  • Housing crisis appals MP - Tauranga

    Housing crisis appals MP

    A single woman living alone in Pyes Pa in a new three-bedroom state house with subsidised rent is doing so at the expense of nearly 200 homeless families on waiting lists.

    That's the reaction of Tauranga MP and associate National housing spokesman Bob Clarkson after learning the single woman was allowed a three-bedroom state house to herself.

    "I am totally appalled at the situation, especially when there are young married couples with kids that can't even get a house," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

    "What the hell is going on?"

    Mr Clarkson said Tauranga's longest-serving state housing tenant had been in his home for 45 years and the state house tenant with the highest income is earning $125,000 a year _ but they can't be moved under current housing policy.

    Last week, the Bay of Plenty Times highlighted the issue of Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) tenants living in oversized homes while 194 families desperately wait for accommodation.
    Public response to last week's report revealed a case of a single woman living on her own in Pyes Pa in a HNZC three-bedroom home, with a double garage and a sizeable garden since her family left home.

    The family were the first to move into the house that was bought by HNZC on the open market about four years ago. But within that time family circumstances altered dramatically, leaving the woman with the home and two spare bedrooms to herself.

    HNZC regional manager Tony Marsden said that although he could not comment on the individual case, he could confirm that no action would be taken to force a person to move into a more appropriate-sized home, even when family circumstances changed and left rooms unoccupied.

    "Housing New Zealand doesn't have a policy of forcing customers out of their homes. We make that offer [to down-size] and we have quite a bit of success, especially with older people because a big house is difficult to manage. But unless tenants are in breach of the Residential Tenancy Act, we're not going to evict people."

    Once in a HNZC home, so long as tenants abide by the terms of their contract, it is theirs for life and the spare rooms that may eventuate later on are also available for the tenant to rent out for their own commercial profit.

    The state system allows HNZC tenants to have two paying boarders before income derived from boarders is taken into account in income-related rent (IRR) assessments for tenants.

    Phil Heatley MP, National Party spokesman for housing, said HNZC needed to review its policy about re-housing those families whose circumstances change to make way for those languishing on the waiting list.

    "Generally speaking, when a state house tenant's circumstances significantly change, Housing New Zealand should take a fresh approach. State houses are there to provide shelter for those in need."

    Nick Maling, the spokesman for Housing Minister Chris Carter, said Housing New Zealand was working hard to fix the situation.

    He also said that government efforts were being made to review the accommodation supplement _ the amount paid to low-income families to assist them into private accommodation.

    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    This is crap isn't it. Why should people be allowed these homes well under market rates when they earn a large income or are able to rent out rooms at market rates. Surely once they go past a certain threshold they should have to move into the general market. I was under the impression state housing was there to help people get ahead not allow someone to live there for the rest of their life. I think changes need to be made.
    Nigel Turner


    • #3
      Trouble is with HNZ, not the tenants. They are covered by the RTA, and so can't be kicked out unless they breach.

      HNZ should be charging market rents, with credits for number of dependents living at home. As the kids move out, the rent goes up.

      If tenant wants to sub-let, then fine, because they are paying market rent for the home.


      • #4
        The "customer" mentality irks me as well. The people in these houses are anything but "customers"!
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