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More Rent Equals More Hardship

2 August 2006

DCM Bulletin

More Rent Equals More Hardship

New management at the former Te Ata Hou boarding house in Island Bay has made a rent increase one of its first actions.

The single room rental price at the renamed Pronto Accommodation has gone up $20 and can no longer boast being one of the most inexpensive private rental accommodation places Wellington.

Many Downtown Community Ministry clients live at the boarding house and we fear the increase will place pressure, both financially and emotionally, on residents and jeopardise their tenancy.

A phone call to Work and Income New Zealand found the increase in rent would result in an accommodation supplement increase of $14 when assessed for a single adult beneficiary. This means most DCM clients will be out of pocket by $6 or more each week.

It may also contribute towards Wellington’s already expensive and tight rental housing market.

Wellington has very limited stock of affordable private housing for rent. Most DCM clients are housed

The boarding house was previously owned by Presbyterian Support and leased to Te Ata Hou Trust. The home was managed by Presbyterian Support as an elderly care facility. Ninety five percent of their homes are used for this purpose.

This year it was sold and is now leased to Paul Wong who formed Pronto Accommodation.

Mr Wong says he intends to carry out improvements to the kitchen and laundry areas as well as servicing the central heating system.

Three of the units will be turned into backpacker accommodation and a free shuttle service into the city is also in the pipeline.

Unfortunately, these changes can only signal bad news for residents. If the shift towards short term ‘holiday’ accommodation continues further rent increases may be even more likely.


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