Mother desperate to find home as housing crisis hits Whanganui

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

A Whanganui mother who has a good tenancy record is among hundreds in the region struggling to find a rental home.

Jessica Firmin has been searching for a home for five months and rental companies say there are a number of contributing factors to the region's rental housing crisis.

"It's a struggle, there are so many people out there wanting homes, needing homes for their whānau but there's just not enough."

Firmin and her young sons are having to move due to her rental being sold.

She's applied for more than thirty houses but has been turned down every time.

"I would say every home for the last few months that's been out on TradeMe, on anywhere private, people contacting me - we've applied for.  Being told 'no' time after time, it's really hard."

Ray White property manager Fiona Callister says it's a widespread issue and it's taking a toll on families in the region.

"It's just a little depressing, to be honest just not having the housing for the people in Whanganui."

Firmin says, "The one thing as a parent you should be providing is a stable home for your tamariki and at the moment I feel like I'm failing that."

With weekly rental prices rising by $50 over the past 12 months, many families will continue to struggle.

Meanwhile, Firmin's search for a new home continues.