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Comment on the announcement that the Government \yas drafting legisiation with a view tio amending the Fair Rents Act to permit eviction after a certain Period was niade this morning by the Mftyor, Mr Allum. In criticising State inaction in the matter of temporary housing he suggested the adoption of a national scheme on the lines of the Western Springs project. / While some abatement might result in the housing crisis were those provisions of the #air Rents Act relating to the removal of Tenants amended and those* relating to rent charges retained, the difficulty would still remain as to where evicted tenants would go, he said The object of the Act of keeping rents within reasonable limits was sound, but in its operation it had undoubtedly deterred people from renting houses and unfurnished rooms. The difficulty, of course was to get tenants out. ' Discord Between Tenants "The trouble that has \ arisen between landlords and their tenants is northing compared with the discord existing between a tenant in one portion of a house and a tenant in another portion," said Mr. Allum "I have interviewed people in great distress because of the alleged conduct of those to whom they have rented rooms. It is worth' noting that those who fall out are not necessarily strangers to one another, but are often closely related. "It is because of this factor that the City Council requires that when a dwelling is subdivided it should be subdivided that each tenant occupies a self-contained unit. There has been some relaxation of these requirements in view of present conditions, but use of common amenities is not desirable."

Mr. Allum said that while it was not reasonable to-day to expect people to rent empty houses and rooms in their own homes, it was reasonable to expect owners of houses not occupied to make these available should the provisions of the Fair Rents Act be altered to enable unsatisfactory tenants to be removed. It had to be remembered all the time, however, that there was a practical t difficulty which Nothing Tangible Done arose when tenants were evicted. "What troubles me about the present crisis is that, while there has been much talk, nothing tangible has been done by the Government," continued Mr. Allum. "I understand that in England, for instance, £150,000,000 will be spent on temporary housing, and while the buildings will be sub-standard, the equipment will not.

"I am convinced that temporary housing on the lines of the council's scheme at Western Springs must be adopted by the New Zealand Government if the people are to be housed within a reasonable time. I am not impressed by arguments that temporary housing would create slums. What I am impressed by is the misery of those who are inadequately housed. If nothing else moves the authorities the plight of small children living In. shocking conditions should.

"Next to winning the war against Japan, our most important national questions are the rehabilitation of our servicemen and the housing of our people," said Mr. Allum. "These are the things about which the least is said. For the past two years I have listened to a rising crescendo of protest over the housing problem. What is wanted is determination and expedition."

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Bibliographic details

STATE INACTION, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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STATE INACTION Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 176, 27 July 1945

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