Fears over derelict homes
At least two derelict and potentially unsafe houses in Porirua have residents frustrated and questioning the diligence of landlords.
Porirua City Council has received complaints concerning properties in Gear Tce, Porirua East, and Taupiri Cres, Titahi Bay. Both have poorlymaintained sections, graffiti inside and out, and broken windows and doors.
Former city councillor Don Borrie, who lives near the Titahi Bay address, said he understood PCC was in a difficult position as the property was private, but believed it had a duty to act.
He said young children and teenagers were playing and hanging out in the house, and it was only a matter of time before someone was injured or there was an arson.
‘‘This house has been vacant for about five months and we’re getting to the point that there is a health and safety risk at play.
‘‘The city council should intervene because they have a responsibility for the wellbeing of this community – how does this property
This house, in Taupiri Cres, Titahi Bay, is empty, heavily-graffitied and a haunt for people after dark. contribute to the wellbeing?’’
A neighbour of the house at 62 Gear Tce said she had been in touch with PCC ‘‘a number of times’’.
Metre-high grass, rats, broken fences and an unruly tenant are some of the issues she has endured over the past two years.
The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she had spoken to the property’s owner, who lived in Wellington.
‘‘There has been someone living in it, paying the landlord rent, for the past few months. But most of the windows are broken and you can tell that it snowed inside the house during the snowfall in August. I feel tremendous pity for the person in there [who left last week].
I’ve been in this street since 1962, my kids grew up here and I love this area. But I think this issue [derelict houses] deserves media attention.’’
Mr Borrie said there was a culture of people buying cheap housing in Porirua with the sole focus of ‘‘making a buck’’.
‘‘There’s no loyalty, but it must be something that is acted upon.’’
Kapi-mana News has been made aware of another empty and dilapidated house, in Ngatitoa St, Takapuwahia.
But PCC environment and regulatory services general manager David Rolfe said derelict houses were not a major problem in Porirua. He said the council did not like to see properties in ‘‘these sorts of condition, especially with the dangers they present’’ and, even if they were private, would follow-up in most instances.
‘‘There is no specific legislation that can resolve these issues – we prefer to work with the owners . . . before we get to a legal situation.
‘‘The legal route can be costly for the council and ratepayers, serving notices and going to court, which we prefer to avoid if possible.’’
Mr Rolfe said he was not aware of the situation at the Gear Tce property but the council had made contact with the Taupiri Cres owner, who lived overseas.
While he was hopeful of a resolution, he said legal advice would be sought if repairs – even a fence to stop people gaining access – were not forthcoming.
Donations to Keira’s Charity Club of long-life food, or money that will be used to buy food for the food bank, can be made to the Linden School office by Friday, December 16, or to the St Peter’s Shop in Linden until noon, Saturday, December 17, and then again from January 24. Can do attitude: Linden School five-year-old Keira Bayliss has set up her own charity club to gather food bank donations, and wants your canned food.
Derelict and dangerous?: