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Tenant slams housing conditions
By PETER HIDE
UNIMPRESSED: Ricky Stewart has moved out to
Loburn to escape ''incredible'' living conditions
while his Christchurch home is repaired.
A FORMER Loburn man was
worried about his health and
safety -- and that of his child --
when being expected to continue
living in a Housing New Zealand
unit in Christchurch while earth-
quake repairs are being done.
Ricky Stewart, 28, normally
lives in Laramie Place, Hornby,
but he and partner Alicia
King, with baby daughter
Gabrielle, have moved in with his
father in Loburn because of the
mess'' they were expected to
endure in Christchurch.
The living conditions are just
incredible,'' he said.
We're obliged to stay there
without any reduction in rent
from Housing NZ.
You only have to walk around
the house once and your feet
are filthy. It's no place to bring up
Housing NZ had about 5000
houses -- 95 per cent of its stock in
Canterbury -- damaged in the
earthquakes, a spokeswoman told
the Northern Outlook.
Our policy is to try to keep
tenants in the house wherever
possible while repairs are continu-
ing. This is done to maintain con-
tinuity for the tenants, particu-
larly if there are school children
involved, and because they are
familiar with their suburb and
Our priority is to keep our
tenants safe while repairs are
being done, and if the contractor
believes that it would be best for
the tenant to be relocated because
the repairs will take a long period
of time or are complicated, we
discuss options with the tenant
before any decision is made.''
After the September 2010 and
February 2011 earthquakes, 600
households were moved to safer
accommodation, she said.
If it is agreed to relocate a
tenant to another property, we
take responsibility for the move.
This includes anything that the
tenant owns personally.
When a property is being
repaired and there are contractors
on site, we expect the tenant
to be mindful of anything
valuable, as is normal practice in
Mr Stewart said he did not
blame the contractors.
He said there was a notice
attached to the front door, which
stipulated that workmen must
wear boots and hard hats for
Yet I have a baby who is
expected to continue living there.
And all I get is blown away by
people in authority every time I
raise the subject.''
The Housing NZ spokeswoman
said all its tenants had a tenancy
services manager as an immediate
point of contact.
If Mr Stewart contacts his
manager, the issue about his rent
rebate can be further discussed
Mr Stewart has approached the
Tenancy Tribunal about his case
for a rental reduction, and said
the staff member who saw him
promised him a reduction in rent
if he was prepared to take a case
against Housing NZ.
Housing NZ plans to build 700
new houses and repair 5000
properties before the end of 2015.
Great window repairs
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: North Loburn
stained glass restorer Graham
Stewart has worked on hundreds of
windows since the earthquakes.
THE LARGE stained glass
window in the Great Hall of the
Christchurch Arts Centre has
been safely removed and will be
restored by a North Loburn
expert over the next year.
The window was largely
undamaged in the Canterbury
earthquakes, but lead frames
need to be replaced, the glass
needs cleaning and some panes
have been damaged.
Stained glass expert Graham
Stewart says the window held
up well in the quakes.
It is huge. The window has
held up very well. There is
only minor damage to the glass,''
There are small cracks, but it
is not catastrophic like some
windows I have worked on.''
Mr Stewart has worked on
hundreds of stained glass
windows since the earthquakes
in Canterbury, including some
from Christ Church Cathedral
and many of the smaller
churches across the city.
You name a church and we
have been there,'' he said.
We have removed hundreds
and hundreds of stained
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