Correction: This article originally compared the cost of the motel unit with other rentals without factoring in the price charged was in line with what other motels are charging in the area.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is defending paying an emergency housing provider double the market rent for a two-bedroom motel unit in Tokoroa.
The Amisfield Motel in Lochmaben Road, Tokoroa, is charging $770 a week for the two-bedroom unit.
Several other listings for rental properties with the same number of rooms in Tokoroa are priced at about $350 a week, however the price is in line with what other holiday motels in the area are charging.
The Trademe listing for the unit was posted last September but was taken down on Friday after media enquiries. It was shared on Reddit where many expressed outrage at the price.
It is not clear why the emergency accommodation was being advertised on Trade Me.
The provider, who didn't give their name when contacted by Newshub, said it could house six people at a time and had "all you need for a home".
Photos of the unit on Trade Me showed four single beds - two of which were in the lounge - and one double bed.
MSD Bay of Plenty regional director Kim Going justified the price for the accommodation, saying it's important to note "additional services that motels provide".
"This reflects the fact that motels are fully furnished, include utilities and maintenance costs as well as bedding, cleaning and other services – this enables clients in emergency need to move in immediately," Going said.
The cost of emergency housing is set by the motel or accommodation supplier based on market rates, MSD says, and varies depending on the size or needs of the household needing the accommodation.
The accommodation is paid for through an Emergency Housing Special Needs Grant. Last year, $203,423 was granted to south Waikato.