Family to move from 'toxic' house
After three years of living in damp and mould, a Porirua family can finally start to breathe easy.
Donna Koveskali has been battling Housing New Zealand over the condition of the state house she shares with her two children.
The family, who moved into the Titahi Bay house in 2009, soon found themselves wiping the walls clean of black mould and extreme moisture every day.
Miss Koveskali's 23-year-old daughter Danielle - who has renal failure and requires daily dialysis treatment - began to suffer breathing problems and bronchitis.
Both Miss Koveskali and her daughter had been sleeping in the lounge as they could not breathe properly in their "toxic" bedrooms.
"I cleaned all the mould out of the lounge so we would actually have somewhere to sleep. I didn't clean the rooms because I wanted [Housing NZ] to see what we had been dealing with.
"You would freak out if you saw it, and probably be sick if you smelled it."
But yesterday morning Housing NZ declared the house unliveable and offered to relocate the family as soon as possible.
A representative visiting the family's house decided that they would work to find the Koveskalis a new home.
Housing NZ spokesman Steve Corbett said they would offer the family every assistance practical, and that could include chemically cleaning the Koveskalis' belongings before the move.
"We don't want to take anything that's mouldy from the house and plonk it straight into a non-mouldy house."
Staff would show the family through a three-bedroom house on Monday, and Housing NZ would pay for the move.
It had been exhausting battling Housing NZ, Miss Koveskali said.
"I won't lie, I think I'm over it. It has just been the same thing over and over again.
"I am just so relieved. Relieved and happy that they have finally listened to us."
Miss Koveskali's 18-year-old son Lukin was also suffering kidney failure and could need a kidney transplant and regular dialysis within the next five years.
"I just had to get them out," she said.
"It's just black in there. Danielle's room smelled of mould, but mine has got to the point where it is just this extreme toxic smell."
The house was in such poor condition that it should be demolished, Miss Koveskali said. "I'm a bit worried about some poor family moving in there with little wee babies. It's seriously not safe."
Mr Corbett would not confirm if the house would need renovations. "It is still to be determined, but we are looking at whether we can sell it. It's too early to say much more."
Mid-2009: Donna Koveskali and her two children move to a house in Dymock St, Titahi Bay.
Early 2010: Family begins to notice problems with ventilation, black mould and moisture. Contacts Housing NZ. June 2010:The Dominion Post reports on Danielle's breathing problems.
October 2010: Independent consultants confirm the mouldy house had caused health problems, and Housing NZ promises to begin renovations.
2010 – early 2012: Housing NZ completes minor upgrades to the home, but the main problems remain. They offer the Koveskalis another home option, but the offered house would not accommodate dialysis equipment.
May 2012: After inquiries by The Dominion Post, Housing NZ replaces the roof.
August 2012: When the roof replacement does not fix problems, Housing NZ agrees that the Koveskali family will need to be relocated.
- © Fairfax NZ News
How would you rate your mathematical skill?Related story: Kiwi maths performance concerns