The state of low-income private rental housing in Dunedin
continues to decline at an alarming rate, Presbyterian Support
Otago has revealed.
An ''Out in the Cold'' survey, conducted last year and
released yesterday, investigated the quality of home heating,
insulation, safety, soundness, value and the need for a
common housing warrant of fitness.
PSO chief executive Gillian Bremner said compared with data
from the 2004 survey ''Old, Cold and Costly'', the recent
survey showed the standard of low-income rental housing in
Dunedin was of serious concern.
In 2004, 36% of low-income housing in the city passed PSO's
reasonable rental standard. That dropped to 23% in 2014, she
''Ten years after we first surveyed low-income families about
their housing conditions, we've found fewer houses passed our
reasonable rental standard assessment and, in one case, our
researchers were sufficiently concerned for the tenant they
referred the situation to our social workers.''
Mrs Bremner said the organisation was also concerned about
the number of Dunedin houses being sold by Housing New
Zealand to fund expansion in Auckland and Christchurch.
''Whilst we understand the urgent need for more government
housing in those cities, we are concerned Dunedin will be
left out in the cold with current political priorities.
''This document will be very useful in informing incoming
government ministers and local body politicians about the
plight of social housing in Dunedin.''
Mrs Bremner said housing was a fundamental human need and
right, and civilised societies needed to make provision for
low-income families to access affordable housing of
''No-one should be forced to live in a house that's not
weather-tight, cannot be adequately heated or have electrical
safety issues because of their financial circumstances.''
The ''Out in the Cold'' survey findings were released by
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull to about 50 people at Presbyterian
Support Otago yesterday.