One night sleeping in a tent in a public park was enough to
land several housing offers for homeless mother of three
Ms Hunt and her children aged 16, 11 and 9 moved into a tent
in Waltham Park on Monday after being evicted from their
In spite of being on Housing New Zealand's "urgent'' list
since her landlord served 90 days' notice in September, Ms
Hunt said she had been unable to find suitable accommodation.
She wanted to stay in the Waltham area because her children
were at school and it was handy to where she worked as a
Yesterday the city council offered her a four-bedroom house
in Gloucester St and Waltham landlord John Beattie visited
the park to offer the family a three-bedroom house close to
her former rental property.
A city council spokeswoman said Ms Hunt applied for a
council-owned social housing unit and was assessed as having
a "high housing need''. She was shown a unit in Gloucester St
at social housing rates of $260 a week.
Ms Hunt said she preferred Mr Beattie's property because
"it's just down the road from where I was living''. The
council property in Gloucester St was "a beautiful house, but
just a little far away''.
Ms Hunt was grateful for the huge support she has received
since her plight was aired in the media, including offers of
food, money and even camping gear to help make her temporary
accommodation more comfortable.
Some people offered to put the family up in their spare
bedrooms or garages.
"I'd just like to say a big thank you from me and my
children,'' Ms Hunt said.
"We thought we were pretty well down and out, but the
response has been amazing. It wasn't what I was expecting.
The generosity of all the people gives me faith that not
Mr Beattie said he'd responded to "someone in need''.
"She wanted to stay in the area. I thought it was a good
opportunity to do something for the community.''
Mr Beattie said he'd been busy trying to clean the property
after it was left in a "hell of a mess'' by previous tenants.
He would rent the three-bedroom property to Ms Hunt for $300
"It needs a new stove, but they could move in tonight. The
house is too flaming big for me. It needs a lot of TLC.''