Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Kahuis: What does Housing New Zealand have to say?

Why is it that the Minister of Social Development is the minister making noises in the wake of the Kahui murders?

What responsibility does Housing New Zealand - and its Minister - have to ensure that housing is safe? If you are in a Housing New Zealand house, you pay no more than 25 percent of your total household income in rent - up to a threshold. They also have to "ensure that no more than the maximum number of people (if specified in the Tenancy Agreement) reside in the house or flat at any one time."

It would be interesting to see how much rent the Kahui household -and households like them - pay in rent, given that the Kahui household was getting more than $1000 a week in benefit payments - and that's not including the earnings that the sole income earner was getting as a cleaner. Was the number of people in the 3 bedroomed Kahui household specified in any tenancy agreement?

HNZ tenants must not "interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of other tenants or neighbours, or permit anyone else at the house or flat to interfere with tenants' or neighbours' peace, comfort or privacy". This presumably means no loud 3am parties like the Kahui's are said to have had on benefit nights.

There are more than 11,000 people waiting for a HNZ house. How many of the are squatting with whanau in a HNZ house without the department knowing? In the Kahui's case we are soon to find out how many were squatting or boarding.

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