Grandmother's flat getting warmer

Long battle with Housing NZ pays off

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 22/08/2012
Irene Owen’s newly insulated flat
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ
HEATING UP: Irene Owen’s Marfell flat was insulated on Tuesday after a lengthy battle with Housing New Zealand.

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A Marfell grandmother has finally had her flat insulated after months of battling with Housing New Zealand.

However, it was cold comfort for sickness beneficiary Irene Owen, 58, when contractors arrived only to find they could not lay polythene under the house, to stop moisture rising.

"The previous tenant has left so much stuff under the house that they can't lay it," Mrs Owen said.

Insulation was installed in her ceiling and under the floor but it was disappointing the job could not be completed. "I've been fighting for this since November 2011."

Mrs Owen, who has a heart condition contracted during breast cancer treatment in 2000, moved from Waitara to Marfell in December 2010 so she could be closer to the hospital.

She said the house would continue to be like an ice bucket without the polythene and she would still have to wear a heavy jacket, gloves and a woolly hat just to sit in the lounge.

"It would stop the moisture coming up which is also going to stop the cold setting in. You can feel it coming up about 4pm, it gets amazingly cold."

She would continue to be reluctant to use a heat pump, installed by Housing New Zealand, until the polythene had been laid.

Nicolas Giraldo, of Housing New Zealand, said they were arranging for the rubbish to be removed. "We'll be getting the insulation contractors around as soon as possible after that."

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