Covid-19: Renters suffer most
Rents are expensive everywhere, but especially so in New Zealand where major cities are among the least affordable in the world (see Demographia.com). When wages are cut and jobs are lost, the poorest households take the biggest hit – and while the New Zealand government is preparing a second round of support for small business rents, no such support has been mentioned for renters.
Of nearly 2000 people surveyed by Renters United recently, more than half had lost at least a third of their income, and others were even more worse off.
Ninety-two percent of those with lowered incomes were still paying the full rate, 5.9 percent had received a rent reduction or deferral, and for some of those the reduction was only a deferral – landlords expected to be paid back once they were back in work.
This is the sad reality in a country which has privileged property speculators and landlords ahead of tenants, with no capital gains tax on property and a high-migration strategy to keep property profits rising.
Full report here: www.rentersunited.org.nz