An adjoining apartment was set on fire when a gas bottle exploded in the driveway of a block of units in Melbourne. A man who suffered burns to his face and hands was said to be in a stable condition at The Alfred Hospital after the explosion in Hughenden Road, St Kilda East. It took 25 firefighters 30 minutes to bring the fire under control. A cat rescued from the burning unit is being cared for by the local council.
Kiwis catch apartment-living bug
New Zealanders have been bitten by the unit block bug with apartments in Auckland now more expensive to rent than a small house. Median weekly rents for Auckland apartments hit a record high of $447 (NZ$490) per week in August, or $37 more than the average rental for one-or-two bedroom houses, the property listing website Trade Me found.
“Urban properties are typically warmer, drier and in a better, inner-city location than your average house,” said head of property Nigel Jeffries. The median rents for apartments and houses in Sydney are about the same at $550 a week.
Rent limits rock home building figures
Efforts to limit rent rises could lead to a reduction in apartment building, if recent experience in Toronto, Canada, is anything to go by. A group representing Ontario’s rental-housing providers says at least 1,000 planned rental units have been cancelled or converted to condominiums for owner-occupiers since the provincial government introduced new rent control rules earlier this year.
A new report commissioned by the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario says that before the introduction of the government’s Fair Housing Plan 28,000 rental units were in the pipeline, but 1,000 of those units have since been cancelled or converted to condominiums.
Poor vets get first pick of cheap homes
Homeless military veterans will be given priority when a vacant rental apartment building in Detroit is rehabbed to provide affordable housing. Work on the six-story building in the city’s North End will feature 26 one-bedroom apartments reserved for people earning less than 30 percent of the area median income.