23 Jan 2013

Housing NZ to sort out empty properties, mayor told

9:55 am on 23 January 2013

The mayor of Lower Hutt says he's been assured Housing New Zealand will start upgrading abandoned properties in the city in a few weeks' time.

Housing New Zealand has removed 265 tenants from 85 properties assessed as earthquake-prone.

Forty-five of the properties are in Lower Hutt, and 23 of those are in a single street.

Neighbours say they had been told the boarded-up houses would be maintained and monitored, but instead they're attracting vandals and thieves.

Mayor Ray Wallace says Housing New Zealand has told him it will begin upgrading some of the houses in March and has increased security in the area.

He said he was assured maintenance would be addressed and lawns and sections tidied.