Housing provider in sit-down over slow service

By Mikaela Collins

2 comments
Ange Tepania.
Ange Tepania.

Whangarei's only emergency housing provider hopes a meeting with Housing New Zealand will help the organisation which is struggling to move families into state housing.

It has been a busy year for Te Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing and in the past two months the trust has received about 100 inquiries for accommodation. Usually it receives about 240 inquires over the entire year.

The trust's operations manager, Ange Tepania, said one of the problems faced by the trust was moving people into state housing.

She said that about two years ago the trust could house about 75 per cent of tenants within six weeks in Housing New Zealand homes — now it's less than 10 per cent.

Ms Tepania said the Ministry of Social Development, which runs the social housing register, offered to set up a meeting with Housing New Zealand to address some of the issues the trust was facing.

Details of the meeting with Housing New Zealand were still being discussed but Ms Tepania hoped it would answer some of the questions the trust had about housing in Whangarei.

Currently the trust is turning away up to 10 families a week.

Ms Tepania said if the trust could move people into housing at a faster pace, they would not have to turn away so many.

"It's very frustrating [for the families]. Some of them are calling [Ministry of Social Development] every few days to get feedback and to see where they stand and what priority they are, only to be told someone will be in touch."

- Northern Advocate

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