So, John Key, Bill English, and Steven Joyce are now devoting all their energy into trying to stop the asset sales programme collapsing after the Greens and Labour gave notice the excessive profits are going to end, and National confirmed they’re for real by suspending the sale. While the government’s wasting its effort on that, real families are suffering like this family:
Living in a mice-infested garage that floods in the rain, a Christchurch mother and her young children have been fighting for months to be deemed a top priority on the city’s state housing waiting list.
Amber Breiter, 22, has been in her mother’s standalone garage in Linwood with her 4-year-old son and baby daughter since January and cannot understand how her desperate situation is not judged “at risk” by Housing New Zealand.
There is no heating. There is no carpet. The door has no lock and when it rains, it floods.
After a HNZ assessment in February, the family was deemed Priority B – its housing needs were assessed as significant, persistent and ‘serious’.
‘At risk’ families are labelled Priority A, which means they have a severe and persistent housing need that must be addressed immediately.
Breiter believes she should have been deemed ‘at risk’ when she moved into the garage but HNZ told her there were “people in Christchurch who had a greater need than I did”.
In the past few weeks her hair has been falling out from stress and her children now sleep in bed with her because the noise of the rain “terrifies” them and water pools beneath her daughter’s cot.
While Breiter piles sheets up against the garage door to soak up the rain, Christchurch’s HNZ waiting list balloons.
The list currently sits at 270 (90 are priority A and 180 are priority B), up from 195 in February.
After four calls from Breiter in the past week and inquiries from The Press yesterday, HNZ plans to meet with the family today.
“The meeting may result in a change to her priority. However, this isn’t a guarantee that we can provide her with accommodation straight away,” HNZ tenancy services manager Symon Leggett said.
Breiter’s plight was highlighted in The Press in January, after she shifted into the garage because she could not afford the bills from her previous rental.
She cannot sleep inside her mother’s four-bedroom house because seven relatives are already there.
Since January, Breiter, who is on the domestic purposes benefit while she studies to become a security officer, has tried to secure a rental, but her poor credit rating is against her.
“I am very desperate and I will take whatever is offered. I feel like I have let my children down, that I have wronged them. This is not how they should be living.”
But what about King Gerry, you may ask. The people of Christchurch have their very own overlord for these situations. Well, here’s the latest sighting of Gerry, doesn’t look too concerned for the needs of the poor of Christchurch, does he?