Tenants to quit Hutt homes over quake risk

Last updated 05:00 29/10/2012
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Another 16 Housing New Zealand homes in the Hutt Valley have been assessed as earthquake-prone, with families being given 90 days to leave.

This brings the number of state houses in the Hutt Valley assessed as being less than 20 per cent of the building code to 61.

The properties are among 769 Housing NZ homes nationwide identified as potentially earthquake-prone.

So far 170 buildings in Auckland, Whangarei, New Plymouth and Dunedin have been assessed as not needing strengthening work.

In September, 265 tenants in 83 homes in the Hutt Valley, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu and Nelson were hand-delivered the 90-day notices.

Since then a further 49 tenants in 16 homes in the Hutt Valley had also received the notices.

Tenancy Services manager Jackie Pivac said 51 Hutt Valley tenants had either moved to other state rental property or accepted another property and were preparing to move.

A further 25 had been matched to other state rental properties and work was progressing in relocating the remaining tenants.

This was the priority, following which further inspections would be completed to decide the fate of the buildings.

Early assessments showed that some of the buildings could be strengthened, she said.

One Trentham tenant and solo father-of-three said he had been shown another property in Trentham that was available to move into, but had yet to be provided with an exact date.

The new property was in the same neighbourhood, which was good, but was a step down from his current house.

There were holes in the walls and the heating was an old open fire.

Half a dozen families had already moved out of his street, which had become a bit of a "twilight zone" with all the houses boarded up. He did not mind moving if it was for safety reasons but was critical of the information being provided by Housing NZ.

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- The Dominion Post

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