‘Stuck’ fam­ily’s plea

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By LAUREN PRI­EST­LEY

Danielle Noyer says her fam­ily’s state home is be­gin­ning to feel like a prison cell.

The 22-year-old moved into the top storey of a CBD Hous­ing New Zealand apart­ment build­ing with her part­ner and two young chil­dren in July.

Her son Iziyah Moe­mai had just been di­ag­nosed with chronic gran­u­lo­ma­tous dis­ease (CGD) at the time and the fam­ily was con­sid­ered ‘‘Pri­or­ity A’’ un­der Hous­ing New Zealand cri­te­ria.

CGD is an im­mune cell dis­or­der that leads to longterm and re­cur­rent in­fec­tions.

Two-year-old Iziyah had a bone mar­row trans­plant in Au­gust be­cause of the sever­ity of the con­di­tion.

A third of his lung had al­ready been re­moved due to pneu­mo­nia.

The boy’s im­mune sys­tem is still very weak so pub­lic play­grounds, parks and even the el­e­va­tor to the fam­ily’s 12th floor apart­ment are of­flim­its be­cause of the risk of in­fec­tion.

Iziyah is also legally blind and re­lies on a small tun­nel of vi­sion in his left eye.

Miss Noyer would love to be able to let Iziyah play out­side but would need ground level ac­com­mo­da­tion with an out­door area.

‘‘It’s so lim­it­ing for him. He needs some­where he can get out and ex­plore.’’

She ac­knowl­edges that Hous­ing NZ moved her fam­ily to ac­com­mo­da­tion close to the hospi­tal within a week of her ap­pli­ca­tion for as­sis­tance.

‘‘It was pretty up­set­ting for all of us but Hous­ing New Zealand were great in the be­gin­ning, so quick.

‘‘We didn’t ap­ply be­cause he was sick, we ap­plied be­cause we had nowhere else to go. His sick­ness just added more stress.’’

Miss Noyer re­quested a trans­fer to ground-level ac­com­mo­da­tion when Iziyah came out of hospi­tal in Novem­ber. She in­cluded letters from a Star­ship pae­di­a­tri­cian, so­cial work­ers and her lo­cal MP. enough to go through the trans­plant and now it’s just on­go­ing.’’

Hous­ing New Zealand re­gional man­ager Neil Adams says the or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der­takes needs as­sess­ments for ten­ants ap­ply­ing to rent or who wish to trans­fer prop­er­ties.

Ten­ants whose needs are the most ur­gent will al­ways be of­fered avail­able prop­er­ties first, he says.

He says Hous­ing New Zealand gave the Noyer fam­ily two months to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion so the staff could eval­u­ate their needs but has not re­ceived all the documents.

‘‘We’ve spo­ken again to the fam­ily and hope to re­ceive the in­for­ma­tion we need so we can let them know the out­come,’’ he says.

Blind Foun­da­tion devel­op­men­tal ori­en­ta­tion and mo­bil­ity prac­tice ad­vi­sor Mark Gear says hands-on ex­pe­ri­ences are es­sen­tial for chil­dren, par­tic­u­larly those who are blind or have low vi­sion.

‘‘Learn­ing about the world around you with­out vi­sion is far more chal­leng­ing when you can­not touch and ex­plore it. Any child with a vi­sion im­pair­ment would def­i­nitely ben­e­fit from hav­ing ac­cess to a suit­able out­door play en­vi­ron­ment.’’

Photo: LAUREN PRI­EST­LEY

Boxed in: Danielle Noyer says her son Iziyah needs a safe space to play.

Happy days: Iziyah en­joys the swings be­fore his di­ag­no­sis.

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