17 May 2012

Move from Housing NZ complex 'stressful'

1:00 pm on 17 May 2012

A tenant being moved out of a Housing New Zealand complex in Wellington with a week's notice says the Government agency should have given far more warning of the move.

Housing New Zealand gave 131 tenants at the Gordon Wilson flats on The Terrace until Thursday to move out because their building was dangerous and most have been found new accommodation.

A tenant, who does not wish to be named, said she finds it hard to believe that Housing New Zealand discovered only last week that the building was dangerous.

She told Nine to Noon that contractors who carried out refurbishment on the building 18 months ago should have foreseen any major problems.

The tenant said the last-minute move has been very stressful for residents, many of whom have health problems or are refugees who don't speak much English.

But Housing New Zealand Wellington regional tenancy services manager Jackie Pivac said the full extent of the building's deterioration was not known until last's week's inspection.

"The concrete was sufficiently corroded that the engineers could see that the metal pins inside the concrete holding it together had also corroded. Up until that point, that wasn't visible."

Ms Pivac says only three residents still need to be found new accommodation, but admits some of the homes are temporary, and those residents will have to move again.