Aspen Manor Motel

PHOTO: MARK TAYLOR/STUFF. The motel earnt more than $3 million between March 2020 and July 2022 as an emergency housing provider.

According to STUFF a Hamilton motel is facing liquidation after earning more than $3 million in two years from the government to house the homeless.

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Aspen Manor Motel, on Grey Street, earnt $3,120,615.29 over the last two years – between March 2020 and July 2022 – since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic.

It is just one of more than 200 providers who earned million-dollar sums from the Government during the Covid-19 pandemic as the country grapples with a housing crisis and the soaring cost of living.

An application has been filed to put Aspen Manor Motel on Grey St in Hamilton into liquidation.
An application has been filed to put Aspen Manor Motel on Grey St in Hamilton into liquidation.

The Ministry for Social Development paid out a total of $788m nationally to house 37,887 people between March 2020 and July 2022.

Figures released to Stuff under the Official Information Act, showed the agency spent a total of $104 million on the top 20 housing providers in Waikato – with Aspen Manor Motel in 16th place.

But whether there’s any room at the inn is unclear.

People could be seen inside the motel, and a car left the property when Stuff visited.

Lights were on in the reception and were windows open, but the door was locked and no one answered a knock at the door.

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A woman who answered the 0800 number said she did not want to talk about the liquidation.

On the motel’s website rooms could be booked from January 1 next year, but on February 17 an application was made for Aspen Manor 2016 Limited to be removed from the companies register.

A liquidation application was filed on May 30 and then heard at the Hamilton High Court on July 4.

Waikato Motel Association president Narinder Sagoo said some motels were earning lots of money providing social housing, but businesses failed for lots of reasons.

“There will always be a flux in the industry.”

”It’s sad for the industry. You’d expect the guaranteed government income to help with covering costs.”

He said the association tried to provide holistic support for business owners, but “sometimes people run into trouble”.