Hammer attack victim forced to live in car

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 17:19 03/05/2012
Derek Moka
VICTIMS: Friends and family have offered the Mokas alternative accommodation but none has been suitable.

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The victim of a vicious hammer attack and his wife have been living in a car since February because they claim Housing New Zealand has been unable to find them a suitable home.

Derek Moka, who has specific needs following the hammer attack in Manurewa last year, has been living in a stationwagon with wife Lynda since their initial application to the Housing NZ was cancelled because they spent time in Northland.

"I've been in the car since I got out of hospital. It's terrible," Derek, who was left blind and deaf from the assault, says.

The couple's previous tenancy in Manurewa ended while Derek was in hospital.

Sleeping in their car at various South Auckland spots made dealing with Housing NZ difficult, as did, Lynda says, managing Derek's and her own health problems.

"I was an emotional wreck. I didn't have the ability to think. I was waiting for them to ring me," Lynda says.

To make matters worse the couple claim mail sent to their nominated address by Housing NZ never arrived.

The couple met again with Housing NZ on April 10 and on Monday were offered a house in Glen Innes which they turned down.

They claim they need one in South Auckland for family reasons.

Friends and family have offered the Mokas alternative accommodation but none has been suitable.

Derek can't live anywhere with stairs because he could fall over. Any property they move into will need to be assessed, with possible alterations needed.

Housing NZ South Auckland tenancy manager Denise Fink says it is in the process of offering the couple properties in South Auckland.

"Housing New Zealand has acted as quickly as possible in relation to this application for a state rental."

The delays arose because the organisation was waiting for the couple to supply documents such as birth certificates and bank statements after their initial meeting, Fink said.

"We need this information so we can fully assess an application for a state rental property against our social allocation criteria. There are no exceptions to this."

Fink said mail was sent to the Mokas' nominated address twice in February and they joined the housing waiting list on April 23 following their appointment earlier that month.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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