Pen­sion­ers: Rent rise OK

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Pen­sion­ers liv­ing in ac­com­mo­da­tion owned by Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil will pay an ex­tra $26.50 a week by July 1.

Weekly rent for el­derly pen­sioner hous­ing flats went up last week by 11 per cent from $108.50 to $120. It will in­crease a fur­ther 12.5 per cent to $135 by July.

Any new ten­ants will pay the full amount of $135 from the time they move in.

Ser­vice de­liv­ery group man­ager Fiona Vessey said the in­creased rent would meet the rise in main­te­nance costs.

‘‘We be­lieve the rent is value for money,’’ she said.

‘‘It is still ten per cent be­low mar­ket value and for their rent, they have their lawns mowed, rates and in­surance paid and they can phone [the] coun­cil 24 hours a day with any queries or is­sues.’’

All ten­ants were con­sulted be­fore any in­crease to rent, and in­formed of sub­sidy op­tions avail­able through Work and In­come, she said.

The coun­cil owns 109 pen­sioner flats, with six com­plexes in Mata­mata, as well as three in Te Aroha and three in Mor­rinsville.

One Mata­mata ten­ant, who did not want to be named, said although she would have to be more care­ful with money, the new rent seemed fair.

‘‘I think it’s still a very rea­son­able price and, with the cost of ev­ery­thing else go­ing up, [ the coun­cil] has to pay for it from some­where.

‘‘You can’t have some­thing like this and not keep up to date with what else is go­ing on.’’

The ten­ant said there were places in New Zealand where coun­cil- owned ac­com­mo­da­tion was no longer avail­able.

An­other ten­ant said they were paying al­most twice as much rent be­fore mov­ing into their coun­cilowned flat. ‘‘We can’t com­plain really.’’ For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact the coun­cil on 07 884 0060.

Heartbroken: Hugh Pick­er­ing sit­ting in his pride and joy.

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