7 Jun 2015

Renters: society’s second-class citizens

From Sunday Morning, 10:18 am on 7 June 2015

Wallace Chapman and the Sunday Morning team examine how New Zealand society views those of us who rent, and the impact that has on the homes we pay to live in.

Shamubeel and Selena Eaqub
Selena and Shamubeel Eaqub.

 If you choose, or are forced to choose, to rent – should you also just accept that your home is going to be inferior because that’s the territory of being a tenant?

NZ Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub doesn’t think so. The country's evolving rental market is the basis of his and Selena Eaqub's new book Generation Rent - Rethinking New Zealand's Priorities, (Bridget Williams Books). Shamubeel talks to Wallace about the need for Kiwis to change our attitude towards renting and home ownership.

Two women share their experiences of renting and the impact on their physical and emotional health.

Sunday Morning producer Christine Cessford visits with Jane, a renter in Wellngton's Lyall Bay, and finds that her living conditions are neither commensurate with the rent paid nor adequate for a safe and secure home.

An advocacy group for renters was launched in Wellington recently - Wellington Renters United. Kayla spoke at its launch and this is her story of renting.

Andrew KingWallace Chapman also talks to Andrew King, the executive officer of the New Zealand Property Investors Federation which represents around 6000 of the country's approximately 300,000 landlords.

He has his own ideas on how to make rental housing a better deal for landlords and tenants.