Rental housing problem grows
Housing will never be far from the media spotlight in Porirua and Tawa.
Owing to Porirua and Linden’s state housing stock, Housing New Zealand is often in the firing line for the condition of some of its homes. Disgruntled tenants contact the media to voice their concerns, and Mana MP Kris Faafoi has long been an advocate for Housing New Zealand residents.
In June, we reported that documents released to Faafoi showed two serious assaults took place in now-demolished units in Esk Place and Hazard Gr. He said the assaults highlighted the Government’s backward thinking over housing.
In September, Maureen McDonald and La Field, who live in Housing New Zealand homes in Titahi Bay, told us they were concerned about the lack of maintenance and lighting around their homes.
To its credit, the state-owned organisation is upgrading its houses, even if too slowly sometimes.
In July we spoke to the Patu family, who live in Somerset Pl, Cannons Creek, about the Warm Fuzzies programme, one of several projects aimed at upgrading Porirua homes.
Perhaps the most burning housing issue concerns private landlords.
Porirua City councillors Euon Murrell and Litea Ah Hoi last year flagged that private tenants – 13 per cent of rented homes in Porirua are privately owned – often endured worse conditions than those in state homes.
Many landlords are absentee and some companies own dozens of rentals in Porirua.
The spotlight was turned on private landlords when we spoke to Jay Elliott in October.
He lived in a squalid home in Somerset Pl. The mould, cat urine and damp made it unliveable.
However, the week Elliott was moving out, an advertisement was placed in Kapi-Mana News to rent it.