A Hamilton family who were forced to turn to Airbnb accommodation because of a dire housing shortage have finally secured a rental property.
Within 12 hours of speaking out about the struggles of securing a three-bedroom family home for her children, solo mum Samantha Rose was inundated with offers.
The offers included a room over their head for several weeks at a discounted rate, a brand new two-bedroom property in Nawton, and another woman offering to rent them her house in Pukekohe.
But the best and most suitable offer came after a real estate agent read the article and told her friend about them.
The friend had recently renovated his property in Chartwell and was just about to look for tenants. He thought Rose and her teenage children Oriah, 17, and Kei, 14, would be the perfect fit.
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Rose had originally hoped to find a house in Hillcrest near her childrens' school, but widened the search to as far as Cambridge when they failed to secure anything after five weeks.
Since selling a house she owned with her partner in Melville at the end of January, the family had moved around five times, renting rooms on Airbnb as temporary accommodation. The last property cost her $95 a night for a room in a shared house in Rototuna.
Rose signed the agreement on Friday and the family started moving their items from the storage unit at the weekend. She thought the rent was reasonable compared with other properties she had visited.
She had gone from feeling despondent and "unsuccessful" to feeling hope and support, she said.
She was pleased they had not settled for less and this house ticked almost all her boxes for being the perfect family home.
It had a big private backyard with a fire brazier for bonfire, overlooked a wild gully in a quiet area away from the street, and had new furnishings and open plan living.
"I held true to what I wanted for us as a family home and what I know brings me joy in a house and this home has almost every wish."
The landlord lived in an adjoining property, but Rose was supportive of shared living so didn't mind sharing the outdoor area with him.
Rose said she had good references and credit history, and she believed the reason they had missed out on other properties was due to her being a single mum.
She said she also asked questions about whether threadbare carpet or peeling wallpaper would be replaced.
"If I'm paying $1800-$2000 a month for a property, at a considerable financial sacrifice to myself, there is a certain quality and care for me as a tenant that I would expect for that price," she said.
Rose also found that the quality of a home being rented for $550 a week in rent and suitable for a family earning a double income was substantially better than a single earning income like her which realistically could only stretch to $460 a week in rent.
And while she was happy to have a roof over her head, the affordable housing advocate said she was still passionate about making home ownership affordable for all people and exploring other options such as rent-to-own models and shared ownership which gave people security.