160 on list for council housing

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
The waiting list for Dunedin City Council community housing has peaked amid claims a lack of affordable rental properties in the city is reaching crisis point.

Council acting housing manager Alana Reid said 160 were on the waiting list, which she believed was the longest the list had been.

This comes as Dunedin social service agencies and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran have said in recent weeks the city's housing situation was reaching crisis point.

They said the lack of housing was splitting up families, causing children to miss school, leading to health problems and placing an already vulnerable part of the population under extra stress.

Despite the council list being at its longest, Ms Reid said demand was not far out of the ordinary.

``The ... demand for council community housing is slightly higher than usual at the moment. However, we experienced a similar peak in demand in 2006,'' she said.

Demand had remained ``relatively static'' since the criteria for getting a property was last updated in 2004 and the list was generally between 120 and 160 at any one time.

It was important to note some tenants chose to wait for long period for specific units and/or locations, she said.

The peak in demand came as the council had changed its processes to shorten the turnaround between tenants, meaning new tenants did not need to wait as long.

``For example, previously we undertook refurbishments when a tenancy ended. Now we work with the new tenants to see whether they want non-essential work done or are happy to move in sooner.''

It also referred applicants to alternative housing providers where appropriate and when it would get them into housing sooner.

The council had 942 housing units located on 92 sites in its community housing portfolio.

People over the age of 55 and/or on low incomes were given priority when applying for a housing unit.

Meanwhile, the Social Housing Register, managed by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), climbed to 101 as of the end of March, the longest since at least mid-2014 which is as far back as the records go.




But there can't be any waiting lists, not when the government have ear marked 28 properties to sell off. Oh, sorry, forgot for a second, most of the people on the waiting lists probably don't vote National so they just don't count do they?