Hous­ing NZ prop­erty va­cant a year on

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

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.

RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN/FAIRFAX NZ

A va­cant Hous­ing New Zealand prop­erty in Cor­nish Pl, Cromwell which will have been va­cant for a year in June.

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