Packing begins at Airedale Courts

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 11:54 25/09/2012
Airedale std
Joseph Johnson
MOVING OUT: Resident Phillipa Acourt prepares to leave Airedale Courts today.

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The packing boxes are out at Airedale Courts, where 24 units are being closed by the Christchurch City Council because they are earthquake-prone.

Of the 24 units, only 10 are occupied.

Among those packing today was Phillipa Acourt, who has lived in the complex for 10 years.

She was shocked to learn she would have to leave but accepted the council needed to put the safety of its residents first.

''I know we have to move on, but it was a shock finding out about it,'' said Acourt, who spent the morning sorting out her belongings in anticipation of a move to a council housing complex in Beckenham or Sydenham.

''I will be sad to leave but I know it has to happen,'' she said.

In the past few weeks, 36 units at Brougham Village and 24 Airedale Courts units have been closed by the council because of concerns about their structural safety.

Their closure brings the number of council units out of action because of quake damage to 451.

That number could still grow as a report due to be presented to councillors on Thursday shows detailed engineering evaluations have yet to be completed on the bulk of the council's housing stock.

Between now and next June, engineers will pore over about 50 council housing complexes considered at highest risk  because of their construction or age, or because they are on technical category 3 land.

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