Sunday, May 15, 2011

What are Housing NZ and the government up to in the Taita North suburb of Lower hutt...


    • Housing NZ keeps state homes vacant (Source: ONE News)
      Evicted Farmers Crescent residents in the Pomare community of Taita North in Lower Hutt...

      • Evicted Farmers Crescent residents (Source: ONE News)Housing NZ keeps state homes vacant, why? Good question! 
    The Minister of Housing has admitted to ONE News that dozens of state houses are being kept empty in a Lower Hutt neighbourhood because of three gang-related women who will not leave.

    Residents of Farmer Crescent say keeping the properties empty is punishing the community and the school and local businesses are feeling the sting.

    Minister Phil Heatley said Housing New Zealand has been planning redevelop the neighbourhood, but has put plans on hold due to the women who refuse to obey eviction orders.

    "They've (HNZ) never had a problem with cash, they've set aside money for that area and they've had that set aside for some time& it's taken longer because of the constant court challenges against the Crown," Heatley said.

    Court battles over the very public eviction have dragged on for more than two years and in the meantime 60 houses stand empty.

    The houses the women live in aren't among those marked for immediate redevelopment, but the minister said he doesn't want any new properties vandalised.

    Housing New Zealand claims people don't want to live in 16 available units; another three are uninhabitable because of disrepair and another 41 are vacant and awaiting redevelopment.
    A spokesperson for the community, 'Fats', told ONE News it's taking its toll on residents.
    "The place is a mess, it's starting to look like a shanty town."

    Vacant homes are boarded up, the local shops say business is quieter and Pomare Primary has fewer pupils. Principal Chris Worsley says they may have to cut a third of teachers in two years.

    "Such a dramatic drop in the roll has been caused primarily by Housing New Zealand and their policy on the rehousing and redevelopment of Farmers Crescent," Worsley said.

    Before the eviction battles, Pomare Primary had 171 children enrolled but that number has plummeted to 116 this year, costing the school $75, 000 in funding.

    "We need some movement on this as a matter of urgency," said Worsley.

    Patched Mongrel Mob member 'Fats' said Pomare is being punished for the lengthy eviction battle.
    "They're taking it out on the whole neighbourhood and it's starting to look pathetic."

    The Housing Minister said redevelopment is soon to start, with several houses scheduled to be bulldozed.

    KR says: But why is there over sixty empty housing units in the general area not connected with those controversial  housing units  of would-be evicted tenants?

    The problem is affecting everybody in the area, and Housing NZ and the government are obviously not interested in the families and their children. Are they going to use the controversy in their election campaign? Actually I hope they do, because it will backfire in their faces!

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