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Minister calls for report on 'squalid, awful' boarding houses - Mangere

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  • Minister calls for report on 'squalid, awful' boarding houses - Mangere

    Minister calls for report on 'squalid, awful' boarding houses
    5:00AM Wednesday April 02, 2008
    By Audrey Young

    Housing Minister Maryan Street says she was disgusted at what she saw during a visit to boarding houses in Mangere which she described yesterday as "God awful" and "squalid".

    She made the spontaneous decision to visit the lodges - wards of the old Mangere psychopaedic hospital - last Thursday morning while speaking to workers at the Monte Cecilia Housing Trust, and took three of them with her.

    The privately-owned lodges, the Kiwiana and the Abiru, are the subject of an article in this week's Listener.

    "I thought they were disgusting," Ms Steet said.

    "I didn't see rats and I didn't see cockroaches and I didn't see the sign outside the toilet that was in the Listener [it begins 'whoever shits on the toilet seats ... '] but they were awful."

    They would come close to being condemned, she said. She would not want any of her family living there.

    "I had not had a report to me about this level of housing crisis in Mangere," she told the Herald last night.

    "I did not know that these properties were being used like this."

    She has asked for urgent reports on the lodges.

    The Listener described them as a "shameful secret" where almost 1000 people lived.

    Maryan Street revealed her visits to the lodges in Parliament yesterday under questioning by National housing spokesman Phil Heatley.

    She denied that Housing NZ was referring people to the lodges.

    The Abiru Lodge had been on the list of residences to which Housing NZ referred people until October 9 last year.

    "There is no doubt that they are squalid and we should not have people living in those conditions. The Housing New Zealand Corporation does not refer people to live in those conditions."

    She also said that if National had not sold 13,000 state houses during the 1990s, the state house waiting list would be gone.

    "We have 10,000 families on the waiting list but we are 13,000 houses short - do the arithmetic."

    She said Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development were also looking at new ways of funding emergency housing and that report was due in two weeks.

    And one of her first jobs as Housing Minister has been to start work on a proper definition of "homelessness."

    "I don't have any idea of the scale of this problem and that is part of the difficulty," she said.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/...ectid=10501520
    "There's one way to find out if a man is honest-ask him. If he says 'yes,' you know he is a crook." Groucho Marx

  • #2
    Originally posted by muppet View Post
    She also said that if National had not sold 13,000 state houses during the 1990s, the state house waiting list would be gone.

    "We have 10,000 families on the waiting list but we are 13,000 houses short - do the arithmetic."
    True, there wouldn't have been a housing problem at the start of the Labour Government tenure, but they've been there NINE YEARS, they can't continue to blame National after all this time.

    Surely they could've been leasing properties or even more proactively, building houses.
    Patience is a virtue.

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