Housing situation reaching new low

Feb 2, 2016 | News

Will Matthews, president of the Auckland University Students’ Association, said sex-for-rent was the “shocking” reality struggling students were facing in today’s unaffordable rental market.

Last year, the average weekly rent in Auckland hit $490 – an increase of more than $100 a week from 2010, according to government rental bond data analysed by Herald Insights.

“Students are getting more and more desperate and having to resort to measures such as rent for sex to be able to survive,” Mr Matthews said.

Last year, a student living in a sex-for-rent arrangement applied to the association for a hardship grant, he said, adding that the number of such applications had more than doubled in the previous year (jumping from 41 to 96) largely due to accommodation woes.

Christchurch is facing a similar housing crisis in the aftermath of the deadly February 2011 earthquake and social agencies said sex-for-rent exchanges also occurred in the seedy underbelly of the city’s rental market.

Maggy Tai Rakena, Manager of START, a sexual abuse agency in Christchurch, said two teenagers recently fell behind in rental payments and had sex with their landlord to wipe the debt, after he suggested the deal.

They were aged 17 and 18.

Read the article here from the New Zealand Herald.

Ministry of Social Development housing team are currently conducting a survey on youth housing that closes on 9 February. Go here to take part in the survey.

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