Retiree rejects complaints over village

By Lawrence Gullery

Critical comments aimed at the alleged poor state of the Flaxmere Swansea Village have prompted one of its residents to come forward in defence of the complex owner, Hastings District Council.

Text messages and letters to Hawke's Bay Today in the past week suggested the Swansea Village residents deserved an upgrade to their flats.

"Most units need a paint and ovens replaced. The elevator needs a fix and the gardens done for our lovely retired residents," one writer said.

"I couldn't agree more about the state of the Swansea Pensioner Village homes," another letter said.

"I have a brother there and his flat has never been painted or repapered. The mould in the bathroom and ceilings in the lounge, etc, is a health hazard and a disgrace. Shame on you, council."

Maria Winitana has lived at the flats for many years and said she had no problem with the state of the complex.

"My response to those complaining is to get in touch with the council's housing manager. My flat is beautiful and so are others here.

"I would invite anyone to come through have have look at how beautiful my flat is and I am very grateful to the council for my loving home."

The council's community facilities acting manager, Craig Thew, said an annual assessment of the council's elderly housing units was recently completed.

"Tenants were also asked for their thoughts on the maintenance of the unit."

It was noted some units at the Swansea Village needed remedial work. It included eight units which were to have their bathroom repainted, a new shower lining was to be fitted in one unit, and some units would have their window sills replaced. The work would be included in council's wider building renewal programme and funded through the long-term plan budget over the next three years.

Mr Thew said that during the past financial year, the council fully refurbished 34 flats across all its complexes including 12 at Swansea Village.

"The Swansea Village complex has a number of vacancies at the moment and some of these units are scheduled for significant upgrades which will be completed prior to new tenants taking up residency.

"Tenants in council-owned housing complexes are required to attend to the daily cleaning requirements of their units as they would do in other rental accommodation."

The council has 220 housing for the elderly units in nine complexes in Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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