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Health at risk in HNZ homes as ‘do up’ costs soar

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman
7 November 2007

Health at risk in HNZ homes as ‘do up’ costs soar

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley has taken up the case for a dozen Porirua HNZ tenants whose health is being put at risk from poisonous mould and damp, while ‘do up’ costs continue to soar.

“These residents have been waiting months for some attention. Their houses are covered in mould, draughty, the toilets are leaking, and some of the residents’ children have ‘sores all over’. They were promised action within days. Two months has passed and nothing has been done.”

Mr Heatley balanced the treatment of those in the Porirua properties with HNZ spending of $2.8 million to do up just 19 state houses at $150,000 a pop.

“How does Housing Minister Maryan Street justify spending $2.8 million to do up just 19 state houses at $150,000 a pop when you could almost build a small home for the cost of a do up?”

Mr Heatley has been given signed authorisations from tenants in Porirua to help get them some action. He tabled these in Parliament today.

“The statements catalogue a long list of problems that tenants and their kids are being forced to endure.”

In some cases, health is being put at risk. The statements include comments like:

  • ‘Housing New Zealand just painted the ceiling but the mould keeps coming up. My son has asthma attacks that’s why the five of us use one bedroom to sleep in’.

  • ‘Its mouldy in all three rooms, gaps around the windows cause draught to get in, the toilets leaking, my children have sores all over so have been to the Doctor and got rid of them but they came back. I have asked Housing New Zealand to do something, they came and took photos and that was it. I asked if they could fix my oven, they said an electrician would be there in 5 – 10 working days. That was 2 months ago’.

  • ‘My cupboards are full of termites, the windows shake, the walls are cracked from leaking, there’s mould in the bedroom and hallway’.

  • ‘My son’s medical states the fungus growth, mould and mildew piling up is the reason for my sons skin disorders. Housing New Zealand still continue to give me excuses’.

Mr Heatley says Maryan Street needs to offer these families some assurances, in light of the heavy spending it is doing re-configuring its houses and the promises made by the former Minister to investigate and act.

ENDS

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