The Herald reports:
A second family is facing eviction from its Hamilton state house, despite a dramatic last-minute intervention by Work and Income which saved another family from eviction this morning.
Chartwell family Rob and Roselyn and their four children aged 15 to 10 owe $900 in rent arrears to Housing NZ and say they are willing to negotiate paying it off gradually.
But Housing NZ area manager Karan Frederikson says the family has been given “many opportunities” to arrange the payments and have not done so.
This Thursday a Tenancy Tribunal will hear Housing NZ’s application to end the tenancy within 48 hours, and a cross-application by the family’s advocate Graham McCready for $6001 in compensation from Housing NZ for failing to maintain health and safety in the house.
The family, who do not want their surnames quoted, said water has been running down internal walls around the chimney since the recent rain started.
“My sitting room is soaked in water and my kitchen has been covered in towels,” Roselyn said.
Ms Frederikson said seeking to end a tenancy was “always a last resort” and Housing NZ had tried to reach agreement with the family.
“We have struggled to engage with them regarding rent arrears, despite numerous attempts to make contact. We have also tried to put in place a rent arrears repayments of small regular payments,” she said.
“These tenants moved into their home a year ago. The house had had a full upgrade prior to them moving in, and was in very good condition. We have had no jobs logged about maintenance required, and the first we knew of this was when they lodged a cross-application to the Tenancy Tribunal.
“We have given these tenants ample notice and many opportunities to address the issues with their rent, including two rounds of mediation.”
State houses have a huge subsidy. Unless you earn a lot of money, your rent is related to your income. If on welfare, your rent will be 25% of your benefit only. So it may be as low as $100 a week.