Social housing needs to be managed better

LETTER

At a time of housing shortages, I am shocked at how some rental properties are treated — by landlords and renters.

I grew up in a state house in Kaiti during the 1960s with my parents and two siblings. We felt very fortunate to be allocated a house in Glasgow Crescent and my parents kept it immaculate.

Dad maintained a fabulous vegetable garden, the surplus being swapped and shared with neighbours. Just about everyone in our street had a fruit tree.

As I cruise the streets now on my courier run, I see lawns long and unkempt, sections strewn with rubbish, broken-down cars, fences with missing palings, graffiti and lots of roaming dogs. Few gardens are in evidence. Notable too are the number of menfolk who sit around drinking and smoking, often in the company of children.

Where has pride gone?

It is a privilege to have housing provided. The rents for state and council housing are certainly reasonable.

It does not seem right to have a single person renting a two or three-bedroom home while some families of six or more are jammed in tiny units or even garages.

With the closure of the Housing NZ office in Gisborne a couple of years ago, it appears things have deteriorated. It’s almost impossible to make contact with one of their property managers now.

For tenants to not be held accountable for the state of their properties is totally unacceptable. Some areas of Gisborne have almost reached ghetto status.

I am fully aware that there are rogue landlords who take advantage of those desperate to get a roof over their heads. But the law as it stands is more to the advantage of renters than the landlords, and many can attest to the huge costs involved when let down by scumbag renters. It does go both ways.

Gisborne is a fabulous place to live and to rear families.

Come on Housing NZ and Gisborne council, start getting tough. Oust those who do not comply and give a chance to those who would love and appreciate an address to call “Home”.

Amos Takarua

At a time of housing shortages, I am shocked at how some rental properties are treated — by landlords and renters.

I grew up in a state house in Kaiti during the 1960s with my parents and two siblings. We felt very fortunate to be allocated a house in Glasgow Crescent and my parents kept it immaculate.

Dad maintained a fabulous vegetable garden, the surplus being swapped and shared with neighbours. Just about everyone in our street had a fruit tree.

As I cruise the streets now on my courier run, I see lawns long and unkempt, sections strewn with rubbish, broken-down cars, fences with missing palings, graffiti and lots of roaming dogs. Few gardens are in evidence. Notable too are the number of menfolk who sit around drinking and smoking, often in the company of children.

Where has pride gone?

It is a privilege to have housing provided. The rents for state and council housing are certainly reasonable.

It does not seem right to have a single person renting a two or three-bedroom home while some families of six or more are jammed in tiny units or even garages.

With the closure of the Housing NZ office in Gisborne a couple of years ago, it appears things have deteriorated. It’s almost impossible to make contact with one of their property managers now.

For tenants to not be held accountable for the state of their properties is totally unacceptable. Some areas of Gisborne have almost reached ghetto status.

I am fully aware that there are rogue landlords who take advantage of those desperate to get a roof over their heads. But the law as it stands is more to the advantage of renters than the landlords, and many can attest to the huge costs involved when let down by scumbag renters. It does go both ways.

Gisborne is a fabulous place to live and to rear families.

Come on Housing NZ and Gisborne council, start getting tough. Oust those who do not comply and give a chance to those who would love and appreciate an address to call “Home”.

Amos Takarua

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