Elderly given seven days to leave quake homes

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 14:43 02/08/2012
Brougham Village

SOCIAL HOUSING: Waltham's now condemned Brougham Village has a total of 89 units.

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About 70 elderly social housing residents have been given seven days to leave their homes.

A detailed engineering evaluation report on Brougham Village, in Waltham, has found the complex would not withstand any significant seismic activity.

The Christchurch City Council owns and operates the complex but has not yet given details about the damage.

Village resident Thomas, who did not want his surname published, said the residents were in "total shock".

"We were handed a four-page letter about half an hour ago...it says the complex is uninhabitable due to the risk from any further earthquakes."

The man, who has lived at the Brougham St complex for six years, said residents were meeting this afternoon to "discuss our options".

Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson had been invited to the meeting along with the Tenants Protection Agency.

Thomas said before the earthquakes more than 200 people lived in the complex. Now there was only about 70.

"A lot of people left voluntarily but others were helped to leave because their units were uninhabitable."

Thomas said the letter, from the council's social housing unit, had "added insult to injury".

"It says, "as this is a disruptive time we would like to take the opportunity to get together for a barbecue."

"So in the middle of packing, moving and trying to find somewhere else to live they want us to gather on the grass for a barbecue. It's outrageous."

Brougham Village was opened in the late 1970s.

Thirty years after it opened, the New Zealand Institute of Architects gave it an award for enduring architecture, praising its "inventive and humanistic approach to the architectural endeavour of community housing".

Its architect was Don Cowey, who was killed when he was crushed by a rock in the February 22 earthquake.

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- The Press

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