Topic: Housing

Hawke's Bay Ready to Rent programme aimed at upskilling tenants

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

With the current housing shortage in New Zealand, a new programme in Hawke's Bay called Ready to Rent aims to up-skill potential tenants struggling to find a safe rental property. 

On the two day course they learn basic cleanliness, heating tips, interview prepardness, and what their rights are as a tenant.

"Our programme is so important for these people that are living in rental accommodation and quite often don't have a voice," says Mel West, kaiāwhina from the Hawke's Bay DHB.

It was developed to help strengthen relationships between tenants and landlords as well as broaden the knowledge of tenants.

"It's gone from a pilot to a programme now and it's quite unique because we've got multiple agencies trying to help with the same whānau outcome," says James Lyver from Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

Kauri Hooper and his partner Kasella Miller are part of the first group to take part in the programme. They are raising two young children together and want to find a place they can call their own, but say it's not easy.

"Landlords don't want to give you a chance because you're either too young or you're not working and it's going to be our first time renting," explains Miller.

Another participant on the group is Diane Read who has been looking for a safe and healthy rental for two years, but says it's been a real battle to find something up to standard.

"We have been to countless houses and interviews weekly and we just can't even seem to get to the reference stage, I've never missed a rent payment, until I had my daughter I've always worked multiple jobs and always had a clean house but we're struggling," she says.

They graduate with a supporting letter which they can use when applying for tenancies in the future.