Bennett commented to media at the CHA Conference today that the Government was considering a stand-down period for those who rejected state houses without good reason.
She said officials had told her over 400 people turned down properties in the last year for unacceptable reasons, such as “birds chirping in the trees next door, wanting a bigger back yard for a trampoline, and not liking the colour a door was painted”. See more here.
Comments on TVNZ website show public and tenants are concerned at Minister Bennett’s approach:
Angel Cody Bella says Paula Bennett should “live in your cockcroach infested houses” and Treena Thompson also questions how long Ms Bennett would last in a state home.
“Maybe they should LOOK at the houses we turn down. SOME ARE DISGUSTING,” says Sarah Gill.
Craig Macdonald says there’s “nothing like a bit of shaming to pave the way for acceptance of policies removing state responsibility for housing the vulnerable”.
Elliot Ewen Pasione agrees: “This is an excellent example of how to manipulate the middle class into blaming the poor and looking good while doing it” while Ngawiki Te Kani argues “not every HNZ tenant is unemployed some work very low wage jobs. Some turn houses down due to not wanting to live next to gangs.”
Elizabeth Martin Well claims her dog’s kennel is in better condition that some of those houses. “Instead of spending the money on a flag we don’t need…let’s do up the state houses to make them liveable.”
But others are backing Ms Bennett, saying some would-be tenants are too fussy.
It’s a good move, says Nicky P Fearn. “They shouldn’t be so picky if they are in need for housing. Can’t be too desperate to be turning down housing! There are people out there who would give anything to be in a house, with a roof over their head!!”
Rebecca Watson says “if you want help and they offer you a warm safe house and you turn it down because the yard isnt big enough then fair enough you get stood down for a period of time.”
“Dont like the colour of the door or back yard not big enough or birds cheep to loud in the morning what ridiculous excuses, very fussy people,” is Rhonda Harris’ take on the issue.
And Danella Friend Good asks “where in the world do you get to complain about a house that is given to you because of the colour. Good job Paula, keep it up.”
But Tim Dodd wants to know what is an unacceptable reason to turn down a house. “I know I would turn down a house if I felt the area was unsafe for my wife and two small boys,” he says.
Rodney Carroll used to work on HNZ properties and would also like to know why they are being turned down. “A lot of them I wouldn’t put my family in due to damp, mould etc…to me health related issues are good enough.”