Last straw upsets motel owner

A Dunedin motel owner says he will no longer supply emergency accommodation after a resident rammed a police car in a KFC drive-through next door.

Bella Vista Motel proprietor Gary (who wanted his last name withheld), of North Dunedin, said there was a bang when two women fleeing in a ute hit a police car early yesterday.

He said one woman’s emergency accommodation placement was arranged by Work and Income, and the incident was the last straw for him.

The woman for whom the accommodation was arranged was a "really really good" tenant and had been staying at the motel for a couple of months.

But her partner was another story.

Now, he would not take any more clients from the agency, because "trouble always seems to follow".

"You try to help people and it just gets thrown back in your face, basically."

It often seemed to be "hangers on" who caused trouble rather than the primary tenants

That sentiment was echoed by Otago Motel Association former president Alex Greenan, who said it was often the "cling-ons" who caused trouble, from his experience running temporary accommodation in motels and boarding houses.

He had now left that market because it was such hard work.

Beneficiaries were often seen as bad clients by landlords, as they had low levels of income.

As a result, damage could seldom be recouped and rent payments could be irregular, Mr Greenan said yesterday.

Ministry of Social Development (MSD) southern regional commissioner Simon Rakiraki said the vast majority of clients respected the accommodation provided, other guests and the local community.

MSD valued their relationships with emergency housing suppliers and there was ongoing and widespread interest in providing such services.

Emergency housing suppliers and clients were in regular communication with MSD.

He encouraged emergency housing suppliers and clients to get in contact if they experienced problems or felt unsafe in their accommodation.

Violent or criminal behaviour should be immediately raised with the police, he said.

A police spokeswoman said that two individuals with outstanding warrants were taken into custody after a call at 7am yesterday.

The two women would appear in court, one charged with burglary and the other for breach of bail conditions, she said.



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