Mould complaints get a reaction

ISOBEL EWING
Last updated 05:00 12/01/2013
Mouldy house
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ
UNWELCOME GUEST: Black mould is creeping up the walls in Rebecca Evans' house.

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A New Plymouth woman is fed up with living in a damp state house and says Housing New Zealand has done nothing to help.

Rebecca Evans said she and her 6-year-old daughter had put up with the dampness and black mould for the three years they had lived at the house on Pembroke St, Westown.

"There's mould coming through from behind the wallpaper," Ms Evans said.

She said Housing New Zealand had sent a contractor this week but all he did was wipe away the exposed mould.

She said the problem needed more than that - someone had to "get in there, find out where the water's coming from".

Her daughter suffered from asthma which was worsened by the black mould, and it also aggravated her own allergies.

She had made a complaint to Housing New Zealand following the contractor's visit on Monday, but had heard nothing back yet.

However, following inquiries from the Taranaki Daily News, Housing New Zealand has promised action on the issue.

"Housing New Zealand takes the health and safety of our tenants very seriously. We've arranged for the contractor to return to the property to fix the problem as soon as possible, and we're in touch with the tenant to let her know," tenancy services acting general manager Darren Toy said.

Ms Evans said her complaint was mostly about the lack of communication on the part of Housing New Zealand.

"It's very much a communication breakdown.

"I will ring up like we're supposed to, I cannot talk to my tenancy manager, and in the end it goes to their main office and they have no idea what I'm talking about."

She said there was no reason why her complaints should not be addressed.

"I've paid my rent on time and done everything I've been obliged to do.

"I just want them to stop mucking us around and start treating us like we are private clients.

"We might pay cheaper rent but that doesn't mean we should live in substandard housing."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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