Emily Ireland
emily.ireland@age.co.nz

A rental accommodation shortage in Masterton has forced a business to house its staff at a council-owned holiday park.

This was revealed at Wednesday’s Masterton District Council meeting when iwi representative Tiraumaera Te Tau asked questions about a council report which gave a brief update on Mawley Holiday Park.

The update stated occupancy rates for the next two months were “looking positive, partly due to a large long-term booking”.

Te Tau asked whether the booking was due to strains on emergency housing in the district.

Masterton District Council community facilities and activities manager Corin Haines said the booking was to do with a business working in Masterton over winter.

“It’s not a homelessness issue, but it’s certainly an issue of getting rental accommodation in Masterton at the moment – it’s really difficult.

“Businesses coming into our community are struggling to find places to accommodate their staff.”

Te Tau said that if the council wanted to promote economic growth in the district, housing issues needed to be addressed, including rental and social housing.

“This problem is not going to go away,” she said.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said she wished she had the answer to the housing crisis.

She requested the council get up-to-date housing information from the Ministry of Social Development to evaluate the issue.

As of March, there were 162 people on the Ministry of Social Development’s Housing Register.

The Housing Register contained applicants not currently in public housing who had been assessed as eligible and ready to be matched to a suitable property.

A total of 159 people in Masterton were considered “Priority A”, which meant they had “a severe and persistent housing need that must be addressed immediately.

This was the highest demand in the district in the five-year timeframe of data available.

For comparison, there were nine people on Masterton’s Housing Register in June 2017.

There were currently 13 houses available to rent in Masterton on Realestate.co.nz.

The average rent of the houses was $490 a week.

– NZLDR Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

 

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