Tenants get 90 days to move out

SAM BOYER
GENERAL REPORTER
Last updated 08:44 08/09/2012

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Families from 45 homes in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington, have been given 90-day notices to leave their earthquake-prone Housing New Zealand homes.

Residents were shocked when they were told this week, without prior warning, that they would be forced to move out just before Christmas.

The 45 properties in Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt are among 769 earthquake-prone HNZ homes nationwide requiring strengthening.

So far 265 tenants in 83 homes in the Hutt Valley, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Manawatu and Nelson have been hand-delivered the 90-day notices.

"A potentially earthquake- prone building is any pre-1976 residential building that is two or more storeys [high], and where three or more household units live," HNZ manager of tenancy services Jackie Pivac said.

"Generally speaking, the areas on these buildings that need to be strengthened are related to brick chimneys and brick walls and the type of soil the building is sitting on. For tenants' safety we are unable to do this strengthening work on these properties with the tenants still living in them."

One Trentham tenant and solo father of three said he was not told whether or not a substitute house had already been found.

"Where are they going to put us all . . . I just don't know how I feel about it.

"I may well cope, but it's just before Christmas. There are a few things that are a bit quick."

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- The Dominion Post

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