Struggling to find a home
Tokoroa’s rental shortage has reached crisis point as out-oftowners buy up cheap properties.
Tokoroa Salvation Army lieutenant Steve Molan said he’s having to turn away two to three families looking for rentals a week as the district’s housing shortage intensifies.
‘‘A couple of years ago you would be looking for a flat and there would be a whole list of options but now there might be two flats or sometimes no flats on [real estate agents] books for weeks,’’ he said.
‘‘People are doing all sorts of things to try and get through. There are people with two or three kids having to live in caravans, in garages, or they are doubling up with families which is causing overcrowding.’’
‘‘It is affecting everyone whether it is parents with kids, single people, or couples. There are just no houses in Tokoroa. Tokoroa is in a crisis,’’ he said.
Molan said the main causes were out-of-towners buying up cheap properties and landlords moving in or wanting to renovate properties to sell. The average residential property price in the South Waikato now sits at $209,480 which is a rise of 24.4 per cent in the last 12 months.
‘‘People have moved down from Auckland, Rotorua, Hamilton and Taupo¯ and are buying up houses because it is too expensive [elsewhere] and some landlords are also doing houses up because they want to sell them so they have asked tenants to leave.’’
‘‘[It] has caused all the rents in the last couple of years to increase. You are now paying $250 for a three bedroom house whereas it would have been $170.’’
‘‘People are turning up to look at flats and there are 15 other people lined up in the same desperate situation,’’ he said.
He said the Salvation Army was in dire straits trying to help.
‘‘We have got three emergency houses and people can stay for up to three months but I can’t even place the people that we have got into their own home and they are good people,’’ he said.
‘‘All the social agencies have got the same problem. They have got people presenting themselves all the times.’’
‘‘The only option we have got in Tokoroa is for them to go and find a family member, move out of town and find a family member, or go sometimes where they can get into the motor camp,’’ he said.