More than, May
For our More than, May, in the month of May, we will feature stories about how Dwell works with our tenants to make sure they can live well, do well, be well.
We recently assisted a family who have been our tenants for several years. After a relationship breakdown, dad left the household, mum, we’ll call her Hana in the interests of her privacy, was left to manage the household including five children on her own.
Hana was struggling to make ends meet even with Dwell already offering her a low rent at 70 percent of market. She was missing rent payments and fell into significant rent arrears with Dwell.
It was important for the Hana and her family to stay in the area they lived to ensure Hana could still work at the local supermarket which offers flexibility around her child care arrangements. They are refugees family and their community is close to where Hana lives and she has many friends nearby who support the family.
Instead of pursuing the end of her tenancy we sought to assist Hana to stay in her home and her community by working with the family, her social worker, budgeting services and the Ministry of Social Development to seek a solution to the financial issues Hana was facing, this including pursuing ways to reduce her outgoings including her rent costs.
Dwell engaged with MSD to see if the family could be considered for assessment for an Income Related Rent Subsidy, an exceptional request due to the fact existing tenants of Dwell and other Community Housing Provider’s wouldn’t normally be eligible under MSD guidelines. Dwell presented a case to MSD to request an exception to this rule and pursued IRRS for Hana. This would mean Hana’s rent costs would reduce to 25 percentage of her income, providing much needed relief for the family’s finances.
Due to the joint up work approach with Dwell, Hana’s supports and MSD the family received eligibility for IRRS. The family were able to remain in their home and improve their financial situation an all-round success for the family and for Dwell.