Janet Ormsby is struggling to find suitable accommodation at an affordable price.
A 72 year old Tauranga pensioner is desperate to find a home she can afford and has been advised to consider living in a caravan.
Janet Ormsby fears she will not be able to afford market rent and is worried as her eight year
boarding arrangement with a couple comes to an end.
Ms Ormsby told the Bay of Plenty Times her landlady and landlord were sick and making other plans for their future so it was time to move on “ASAP”.
But she was struggling to find suitable accommodation at an affordable price, she said.
“I’m not fussy but would prefer not to live in a dump … I am not the only senior citizen desperate for an independent place to live so what do we do?”
“It is not easy as most pensioners can only afford about $220 to $230 maximum with a topup
from Work and Income but there is nothing out there.”
Ms Ormsby’s story is the latest in a Bay of Plenty Times series on the Bay’s chronic housing shortage.
One agency she contacted for help suggested she live in a caravan and real estate agents have simply taken her name because nothing was available.
Tauranga City Council property coordinator Tony Arlidge said in a written statement the council had 246 units and there were 37 people on the waiting list although its year on year average was 25 to 30 for the last two years.
A single unit cost $116 to $135 while a double was $141 to $158.50 per week.
There were no plans at this stage to build any further units.
“Council will be undertaking a wider review of this activity in the next financial year and will be considering future demand as part of that review.”
Tauranga Budget Advisory Service manager Diane Briun said 10 per cent of its clients were aged over 65 and that number was growing.
Those paying market rent were most challenged and need to go into shared flats where they can, she said.
Social housing rent could use 30 per cent of a budget and up to 50 per cent in shared rented accommodation.
Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Grey Power president Christina Humphreys said it knew of a pensioner who had to live in a caravan after her marriage broke up.
“She did it as a stop measure, then went house sitting. It was just unfortunate what happened to her.”
It could become really difficult when a property was sold and there was not enough money to buy another house, she said.
Meanwhile, the young Tauranga mum of two rejected 52 times for a home and who featured in the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday has been offered a family home in Mount Maunganui at less than $350 per week following the article.
Figures from Trade Me show the number of rentals listed for the city dropped 30 per cent in 2014 while the median price had increased 21 per cent.
Last week there were 251 properties listed on the site for rent in Tauranga with 128 listed at $400 per week or less, 94 of those had a rental value of $350 or less with only 49 properties in the up to $300 range.