Ashburton is picking up the overflow of Christchurch
residents in urgent need of state housing.
It means some struggling Ashburton families may be in limbo
as they sit on the waiting list to be housed in the district.
Housing New Zealand (HNZ) tenancy services regional manager
Symon Leggett said seven Christchurch families had been
rehoused in Ashburton during the past six months as the city
faces a swelling waiting list of almost 500 people in need of
He said all the 186 HNZ properties in Ashburton were
occupied, with 15 people on the local waiting list.
However, two houses are expected be become unoccupied in a
An Ashburton family of six this week spoke of having to pitch
a tent in the backyard of a friend's property because they
cannot find a rental.
They are currently applying for a HNZ property, but were
disappointed local families could miss out on homes in
Ashburton to Christchurch residents. They were doubtful of
securing a HNZ property because of their income.
A HNZ spokesperson said the organisation based housing
families on their needs, with priority A being the most
urgent, while people classed priority B were further down the
In Ashburton, four are priority A and 11 are priority B.
She said towns with "relatively short waiting lists'' like
Ashburton were presented as an option to some needy
"Christchurch residents would not be getting priority, it's
all the same criteria. We look at factors whether someone is
able to sustain, afford, and access accommodation in the
lower quartile in the private sector, anybody who's not able
to do that is likely to be eligible for a state house.''
She said the homeless family of six would likely be of high
priority for a state house when they completed the
Labour leader David Cunliffe said the over-subscription of
state housing applications showed how desperate the housing
"Particularly since the new LVR rations have shut first-home
buyers out of the market. And all the while the government
keeps floggings off state houses.''
- By Myles Hume of the Ashburton Guardian