Tenants unhappy in state houses

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has received 129 complaints from South Canterbury tenants in the last year.

In a response to an Official Information Act request by the The Timaru Herald, communications and stakeholder relations Joy Gribben said most of the complaints related to timeliness of work. Other complaints included communication, attitude or behaviour of contractors and dissatisfaction with work done.

Some were repeat complaints relating to the same properties.

"In most cases the work has been completed within specified timeframes," Gribben said.

"If a maintenance job is considered urgent the corporation aims to respond to the issue within four hours. For general maintenance that does not need to be done urgently, the corporation aims to respond within 10 working days."

Gribben declined to provide specific details of the complaints as it would "negatively impact on the corporation's resources".

Last year, $1 million was spent on maintenance of properties in the South Canterbury.

In October, the Herald reported some South Canterbury families were living in cramped and cold conditions in HNZ properties. One family of seven children was sharing a three-bedroom home.

Salvation Army community worker Carolyn Diamond said at the time the parents were sleeping in the lounge.

The Herald understood in another case children were sleeping in the hallway.

The largest house available through HNZ is four bedrooms, but few were available. As at October, there were 12 people on the South Canterbury waiting list.

The Timaru Herald