Housing NZ faces more fix-it claims
A Gore woman says Housing New Zealand treated her like a second-class citizen by not completing repair work in her rented state house following a laundry fire eight months ago.
Housing NZ denies the claim, saying it was unaware the work was incomplete because it had never been told.
Sharon Smith said the dryer in her laundry caught fire in November, gutting the laundry and causing smoke damage to other parts of the house, with water damage from firefighting hoses.
She said Housing NZ had begun repair work but had not completed it, despite "swearing on her father's grave" she had asked its staff numerous times in recent months to do the work.
The required work included fixing a window, a laundry door and carpet and wallpaper that had lifted after getting wet.
She claimed Housing NZ had treated her like a "lower-class person" and a "typical lowly mother on the DPB who doesn't know anything".
"They have treated me like I don't deserve to have the work fixed . . . they like their rent to be paid, but they won't fix repairs."
Ms Smith said she was aware her $120 a week rent was cheap, but that did not mean the agency should ignore her pleas to fix the laundry to an acceptable standard.
Housing NZ regional manager Symon Leggett rejected Ms Smith's claims of asking the agency to complete the work.
"Since the fire, the tenant has not raised any concerns with their tenancy manager or via our 0800 number relating to the repair work so we were unaware there were any outstanding issues."
When Housing NZ became aware of the concerns on Monday, via The Southland Times, workers were fixing the window and a laundry door at her house within two hours.
Ms Smith's problems follow Invercargill woman Rebecca Smith (no relation) saying last week she was taking Housing NZ to the Tenancy Tribunal, claiming efforts to get the leaky and mouldy home she was renting fixed had been unsuccessful.
Housing NZ disputed her claims and said it had done everything possible to ensure her home was healthy.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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