Dunedin welfare agencies say young men in the city affected
by the recession are unable to find adequate rental
accommodation and are living in boarding houses or couch
Presbyterian Support director of communications Lisa Wells
said a shortage of one and two-bedroom homes in Dunedin hit
elderly, single and young people.
The price of rental accommodation in Dunedin was pushed up by
the student population, and vulnerable people were bearing
the brunt of the crisis, she said.
"There has been a huge rise of young men affected by the
They stay wherever they can get a bed," Mrs Wells said.
Some were couch surfing, or living in community-run boarding
Despite 28 Housing New Zealand homes being available in the
city, some people were not old enough to access the service,
or had been pushed down the queue by families who were given
higher priority on the waiting list, social agencies said.
Methodist Mission community and social services section
manager Sue Nash said clients with disabilities were unable
to live in the hill suburbs, and needed housing on flat land.
Single men with children also found it hard to access
two-bedroom Housing New Zealand homes, and were often unable
to meet custody arrangements because they did not have
There was no Housing New Zealand office in Dunedin, and
clients found it difficult explaining their needs through an
"People are just a number now," Mrs Wells said.
Housing New Zealand figures showed 28 Housing New Zealand
properties were ready to lease in Dunedin, and 17 people were
waiting for homes in September.
A Housing New Zealand spokesperson said the agency was
working on improving homes for tenants.
It was also selling deficient properties and building new
- Cameron Carpenter