Half on priority housing list turn down placement

Nearly half of those on the Dunedin City Council's community housing priority waiting list have turned down a placement in the past year.

Demand for community housing in the city continues to outstrip supply, the number of those waiting for a placement having reached 244.

At the same time last year those waiting numbered 238.

There are 125 people on the priority list, which is for those over 55 years old and on low incomes.

They are given priority when applying for a housing unit.

Council property services group manager David Bainbridge said location and size were the main reasons people did not accept an offer of a unit.

As the council did not provide emergency housing, those on the waiting list were already in accommodation so were generally able to wait until something more suitable was offered, Mr Bainbridge said.

The council did not calculate the average waiting time for those on the priority one list but it aimed to have them homed within six months, he said.

"Many people will say `only offer me a unit in Mosgiel' or `only offer me a unit in Port Chalmers', so they have to wait longer than say someone who doesn't mind where they go.''

All the units were generally fully occupied, apart from a short turnaround time between tenancies. They were usually filled within two weeks, he said.

A set of nine units in School St were not counted in the council's housing stock at present as they were due for rebuilding.

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