Housing NZ property vacant a year on
It’s a lonely figure in a vibrant Cromwell neighbourhood.
It’s not quite derelict, more shabby. Gardens are overgrown, walls and windows are dirty and it’s in need of some tender loving care.
It’s 5 Cornish Pl, one of two three-bedroom Housing New Zealand homes sitting unoccupied in a Central Otago town bursting at the seams and crying out for rental properties.
Fiona Sudden lives across the road and says the place is starting to become an ‘‘eyesore’’.
She’s pretty irate that it’s been empty for so long when families are resorting to living in garages and caravans for lack of accommodation in town.
‘‘Why has it gone on for so long?’’.
Sudden says she knows of several people who have tried to rent it or who have offered to buy it but ‘‘it keeps falling through the cracks’’.
Other residents on the street are also ‘‘appalled’’ it’s been empty since June last year, she says.
Sudden’s neighbour, who preferred to remain anonymous, tried unsuccessfully to rent it.
She says when she first enquired about it, Housing New Zealand ‘‘didn’t even know the house was theirs’’ and she had to approach the Central Otago District Council to confirm Housing New Zealand was actually the ratepayer.
After acknowledging it was in fact theirs, Housing New Zealand let her apply to rent the property, she says.
A family-owned house in a trust ultimately meant she didn’t meet the requirements to rent it, which she acknowledges is fair.
But, she says: ’’I think it needs to be [tenanted]. It belongs to Kiwis.’’
A third Cornish Pl resident claims she knows a first home buyer who had also enquired about it to which Housing New Zealand responded that they didn’t own it.
Housing New Zealand refutes this claim saying the ownership of all properties is easily discoverable and there would be no reason to deny ownership.
The government agency says ‘‘it appears there is no current demand for three-bedroom homes’’ by eligible families.
A Housing New Zealand spokesman says if lack of demand for the two properties continues it will consider selling them.
A vacant Housing New Zealand property in Cornish Pl, Cromwell which will have been vacant for a year in June.