Dylan is the deputy editor of the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: No net at the foot of ladder

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Dylan Thorne.
Dylan Thorne.

It's great living in a rapidly growing, progressive city but it is becoming clear that not everyone is enjoying the benefits of the economic boom.

Far from enjoying the fruits of one of the country's strongest regional economies, many may be worse off as a result.

Much has been written about the Bay's booming real estate sector. House sales have been hitting record levels and house prices have surging upwards.

This is great news for property owners looking to sell, but it makes it difficult for first-home buyers trying to get on the property ladder.

A similar trend is occurring in the rental market.

Last week the Bay of Plenty Times reported that Western Bay rental prices were continuing to skyrocket. Social agencies say the increase in rents has forced some families out of town, while others are being forced to live in the bush.

Trade Me's latest rental figures show the median rental price in Tauranga has risen $50 a week from $375 in January 2015, to $425 this January.

The Western Bay of Plenty has risen $80 a week from $260 to $340

One of the reasons families are struggling, is that wages are not keeping pace with rising living costs.

According to recent Infometrics' statistics the standard of living and mean annual earnings in Tauranga for 2014 was $49,780 compared with the national average of $54,230.

This, coupled with a lack of emergency housing in the city, is placing some families in a desperate situation.

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust Social Services director Tommy Wilson says people at the bottom of the ladder are suffering the worst.

He points to the need for more emergency housing, an issue which has been raised many times in the past.

Last year, it was reported the Government was reviewing the emergency housing situation.

The review needs to be carried out with some urgency to provide a much-needed safety net for families struggling to put a roof over their heads.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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