URSULA KEAY / SUNLIVE
Candace Westnedge, along with her son Braxton, is about to give up the search for a property to rent.
A single mother from Tauranga still can’t find a place to call home, despite asking for more than 130 rentals.
Candace Westnedge, 30, is “beyond exhaustion” after spending the past five months trying to find a home for herself and her 15-month-old son, Braxton.
Westnedge was forced out of her previous rental in Welcome Bay in early January when the owner’s children moved in, with 90 days’ notice.
“From the day I received a notice, I started applying to lease, and my previous landlord told me she could give me an exceptional referral,” said Westnedge.
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Working part time as a truck and trailer driver, she currently lives with her parents in the spare bedroom with her son.
She has seen more than 30 apartment tours, and a property manager even offered her a property in Papamoa, before pulling it down soon after.
“I just can’t figure out what’s going on,” she said.
“I’m looking for properties that cost up to $ 620 per week in rent all over Tauranga – and I’m always told no.
“I am more than exhausted. I’m at the point where I feel like I can’t be a good mother to my son because I can’t offer him a place to live. I want to give up. How many more times can someone say “no” to me? “
Tauranga Rentals owner Dan Lusby said Westnedge’s situation was not surprising.
For about 10 consecutive days earlier this year, the company had no property to rent in Tauranga.
“Even now, we only have about three properties on the board. They come in and then they go out right away, ”Lusby said.
“There are a lot of great tenants missing.
According to the Trade Me Rental Price Index in January, the median weekly rent in the Bay of Plenty was $ 550.
Lusby said it was unclear whether being a single parent affected a potential tenant’s chances of securing a property.
“In all fairness, I think some people will have a negative perception of solo moms,” he said.
“But we always look at it based on their credentials and whether we think they can afford the property.”
He said many tenants in Tauranga were surfing sofas and sleeping with family members while searching for properties.
“We know how disruptive this can be for young families. “
Westnedge agreed with this and said it was difficult for her son to see her in constant stress.
“At first I thought I couldn’t find a home because I’m a single mom. I have never, never had this problem before.
– Declaration by SunLive