Tetraplegic caught up in housing shortage
A Christchurch tetraplegic and his family fear they will be forced to leave the city due to the current housing shortage.
Nadine Conway and Hamish Ramsden say the lack of rental properties has complicated their efforts to find a suitable place before they are forced to leave their current rental next month.
The couple and two of their children have been in rental properties for the last 18 months, after their Merivale home was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.
They had to leave their first rental property after it was sold to a new owner, and they will have to leave their current rental next month for earthquake repairs.
Conway said the family had been looking for a suitable rental with bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs, but they had run into a brick wall.
''All the real estate people have got our number, we check Trade Me every day, we've tried Facebook, school newsletters - there's just nothing.''
Most suitable properties were too expensive for the family, who had exhausted their insurer's accommodation assistance.
''They tend to be upwards of $1000 a week, and we can't afford that,'' she said.
Ramsden said the high demand for rentals had also made it harder for them to find a landlord willing to accommodate their unique situation.
''When you've got 20 people coming through, and one person says, 'We'll take it but we need to alter the bathroom', and there are 10 others who are keen to move in tomorrow, it's hard,'' he said.
Conway said the couple had tried contacting a number of several welfare agencies and other organisations without success.
''People say, 'They must be able to help you', but who's 'they'? We've asked everyone we can think of, and there's no 'they' around.''
If they could not find a new house soon, they would have to leave the city and enrol their children at a new school.
''We've got all our networks here, our friends, we're on committees and groups, it will just take a lot of effort and energy to relocate,'' Ramsden said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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