Why social housing tenants apply for transfers

  • 08/09/2015

By Mitch McCann and 3 News online staff

Hundreds of social housing tenants want out of their homes with a large number of them reporting they don't feel safe.

More than 1100 applications were made by tenants wanting to move in the quarter to June last year, documents released under the Official Information Act show.

Of those applications, 249 of them claim personal safety as the reason for a transfer.

"Where personal safety is concerned, Housing New Zealand or another housing provider may be working with other agencies to relocate people from domestic violence situations," a spokesperson says.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei suspects some of the personal safety applications relate to common "maintenance issues" with social housing.

"People feel unsafe when they're living in places that don't have fences between properties or fences from the street, which is a common feature of state housing… there's no separation and no privacy."

Meanwhile, 444 people requested to move due to health and another 288 due to overcrowding.

From what she sees in her job, Ms Turei says these applications are not being processed fast enough.

"People are in a situation where they're being told that their very lucky to have a house at all and they should be grateful for what they've got."

She says the Government should allow Housing New Zealand to spend the money it needs to on improving state houses to ensure they are all warm, dry and secure for tenants.

RadioLIVE / 3 News