10 Dunedin state houses may be sold

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Ten of the 25 properties in the Dunedin area are being assessed to see if they should be considered surplus and sold.

HNZ area manager Kate Milton said five of the houses were being re-tested for demand. The other five might be returned to the letting pool if there was demand for their size and location.

Details on the location of the 10 houses were not available at the time of writing.

Housing New Zealand confirmed some houses had been sold in the Dunedin area in recent years because they were not considered the right type to meet demand, but the number of these was also not available.

Ms Milton said proceeds from the sale of properties were reinvested to provide modern housing in areas of greatest demand.

One of the 25 houses vacant at the end of June needed to undergo methamphetamine decontamination.

Ms Milton said the remaining 14 houses were under redevelopment for a variety of reasons including fire damage, repairs and reroofing.

Nine were expected to be ready for tenants in the next few weeks and the remaining properties would be available “as soon as practicable”. Housing New Zealand continued to work closely with the Ministry of Social Development to provide more houses in places where demand has increased in recent times.

“Our chief role is providing a mix of housing in the right places and of the right type – for example, number of bedrooms, single level, modified for disability and other factors”.

Where there was demand, houses were not sold.

At a recent political forum in South Dunedin, concerns were raised by an audience member about a Market St house which she said had been refurbished but left empty for more than a month.

Ms Milton said the property was vacated in late August this year and routine maintenance between tenancies would be completed next week.

The property had already been matched to an applicant on the Ministry of Social Development’s Social Housing Register.

With a portfolio of about 63,000 properties nationally, there would always be some properties vacant because of routine maintenance undertaken between tenancies, refurbishment, repair and other property-related matters, she said.

As well as maintaining these properties, HNZ made other improvements such as insulation, heating, curtains, ventilation and other additions. The Driveway Safety Programme provided fencing and security for 1300 properties nationally where there were children under the age of 5.

Housing New Zealand stock

DUNEDIN AREA – 1390 PROPERTIES:

3 bedsits

133 one-bedroom houses

642 two-bedrooms

541 three-bedrooms

70 four-bedrooms

3 five-bedrooms or more

Vacant25 (as at June 30)

Source: Housing New Zealand

Anglican Family Care

DUNEDIN STATISTICS

Average rents have risen 10.6% in the past year.

20% of AFC clients are in accommodation deemed inappropriate or unsafe, including overcrowding, transient or poor quality.

15% of AFC clients are in HNZ homes.

The waiting list for a HNZ home climbed to 80 in December 2016.

Source: Anglican Family Care