Mum’s housing plea
Selina Paul wants out of the Ascot Park home she grew up in.
The solo mother-of-four has been in the three- bedroom, Beaumaris Cres state house most of her life – the last five years of these paying rent after her father died – but its cold and damp rooms are making her and her family sick, she says.
Her three- year- old son Brayden has taken the brunt, with colds and asthma flare-ups requiring frequent days at home from kindergarten and trips to the hospital for treatment.
Ms Paul says while Housing New Zealand has made a recent inspection, her pleas to either make their home warmer or move them to a four-bedroom house have been ignored.
Going to the media was brought about by frustration, she said.
‘‘ My daughter and I have asthma, but not as bad as Brayden. His has got worse in the last two years.
‘‘At the moment he’s sleeping with me; his room’s cold and the bed gets damp. I put a dehumidifier in there a few weeks back – we emptied it twice in half a day.
‘‘Heating it up with a column heater does nothing, so we’ve shut the room up, no one’s allowed to sleep in there.’’
HNZ has told Ms Paul her fireplace will be fixed soon, but all the family can afford until then is another column heater in the lounge.
With winter approaching, she wants something done, and not just more advice to keep the house ‘‘well-ventilated’’ by opening windows.
‘‘I’ve been told ‘ we’ll sort it out, we’ll sort it out’ [ the heating] but nothing is being done and it’s getting out of hand. I’m wiping window sills with Janola but can smell the damp.
‘‘I have heard of empty [state] homes in Porirua. Why can’t we be transferred?’’
A HNZ spokesperson told Kapi-mana News it is ‘‘unlikely’’ Ms Paul and her family will be moved as they are not in an overcrowded environment.
They regularly keep tenants informed on how best to heat and ventilate their homes and would be increasing the awareness as winter drew nearer.
HNZ would not comment further on individual cases.
Damped off: Three-year-old Brayden Paul, with mum Selina, has had a rough time of it lately with his asthma, often catching up on sleep during the day as he is awake all through the night.