November 11, 2012
House prices forcing Māori out of Waikato beaches
Poverty Action Waikato is warning that a shortage of affordable housing is forcing many low income Māori and elderly people out of their homes.
A new report by the group says the problem is particularly bad in tourism hot-spots in the region.
Researcher Rose Black says absentee landlords make up 54 percent of ratepayers in the Coromandel and 60 percent in Raglan, which indicates a large amount of the housing stock has been turned into holiday homes with little left for local needs.
She says the quality of housing at the low end is appalling, with families with small children having to cram into one or two bedroom houses or flats which may be damp and mouldy.
Ms Black says almost 40 percent of people in the Waikato spend almost 40 percent of their income on housing costs, up from 33 percent three years ago.
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