"It was not that low-income renters didn't know their rights.
They just knew those rights would cost them."

Matthew Desmond

COVID-19 LOCKDOWN

As we prepare this newsletter we are again in lockdown. All staff work from home, with teams of two rostered to work at the office on alternating two day shifts. Kiwiharvest continue to deliver weekly rescued food from the supermarket. A large corporate office complex has rung offering to drop off 20 litres of milk. Our social work team are making daily contact with all resident families, who are naturally anxious and isolated from any family support. Two families are due to move out to new homes. This is now on hold as they wait in limbo until we change lockdown levels.

Your donation is needed to ensure we can support these vulnerable families especially under the stressful time of lockdown. 100% of your donation goes to directly support families in practical ways such as providing meat, milk, eggs and staples. We are also ensuring every family has access to masks, sanitiser and increasing their data access so children can continue their schooling. 

TENANTS AND LANDLORDS

De Paul House was recently contacted by a landlord willing to offer his two bedroom unit to a De Paul House family. He was offering to rent at a rate lower than current market rental prices for a quality unit. When we asked him why, he said, “I have been generously blessed with people who have given me opportunities. It is only fair to do the same for others. De Paul House made it very easy."  The young family who moved in, were fully aware of their obligations as tenants, De Paul House has prepared them well through our Ready to Rent programme. 

This family were resident at De Paul House for 5 months. They had arrived back from Australia where they had worked and rented successfully. After 12 months of a frustrating and unsuccessful search for a rental, they had lost hope.  Their rental history in Australia was not considered, with landlords wanting NZ references.  They were living with family in very overcrowded housing.

They have settled in well. Tom continues to work as an essential service worker and Anna has secured part time work to help meet their financial goals and commitments. 

“We were relieved when we moved into De Paul House, to have our own space and to be supported and encouraged by the social worker. We both feel so fortunate to have the offer of the rental. Especially after such a long search.” 

What makes a good landlord?  This landlord responded by saying “Landlords should provide a property that they would be happy to live in themselves. If it is not up to their own expectations, it probably stands to reason that it isn’t up to a tenant’s expectations. All maintenance issues should be remedied quickly.” 

What makes a good tenant?  Someone who treats their rental (their home) as if it was their own property.

Sadly, our Sustaining Tenancy social worker visits many families living in substandard rentals. She works alongside families helping them navigate the processes when dealing with landlords and Tenancy Services.



Attendees at the Ready To Rent session in Warkworth earlier this year. The programme aims to teach clients about their rights and responsibilities as tenants. 

ONE YOUNG FAMILY'S DILEMMA

 Michael has a steady job and his wife, Alaina and their preschooler are at home in their two bedroom unit. The social worker visited the family and learnt that they all sleep in one room due to black mould in the second bedroom. They had approached their landlord who was unsupportive and took no action. The social worker advised them of their rights as tenants, but they are too worried that if they complain the landlord will terminate their tenancy.  They are resistant to applying for social housing as their dream is to own their own home. They are struggling to meet the weekly cost of living. 

De Paul House works alongside all families to assist them to achieve sustainable, affordable and livable housing. We appreciate your continued support for our valuable work, strengthening families to thrive.
We hope you and your families are keeping safe and well.