Resident’s rent worry

Antoinette Kemp.

A senior citizen living in a Communicare flat says she cannot afford a 9% rent hike.

Antoinette Kemp, 73, will have to pay R1 690, as of July 1, for her one-bedroom flat in Reyger Court, in Brooklyn.

She has lived there for almost 20 years and survives on a government grant, which she says is only a few rand more than her rent.

She also gets pension of R800, which is quickly spent on food and electricity.

“My husband died three years. We had two pensions back then, and we could survive. Now I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

She said she did not want to ask her children for help as everyone was battling financially.

She said she had appealed in vain to Communicare for help.

“I was told someone was going to return my call, but I’m still waiting.”

Another Reyger Court resident, who did not want to be named, said if it wasn’t for her children’s help she too wouldn’t be able to afford the rent hike.

Confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a oxygen tank, the resident said her rent was going up from R1 900 to R2 000.

“It’s difficult. We are all struggling. If it was not for my kids helping me out I would probably be on the street,” she said.

Communicare said it could not discuss the financial affairs of its tenants without written consent from them.

“Any tenant who is in financial distress should contact us and inform us of their circumstances so that we can work together to see what interventions we could assist with,” said Communicare spokeperson Michelle Matthee.

She said rentals went up annually but Communicare offered concessions to elderly tenants getting state pensions, and some tenants facing financial shocks could be granted a “rent holiday” of up to six months, subject to an evaluation.