Housing provider irks homeowners

By Alexandra Newlove

6 comments
Onerahi residents Brian and Ann Hewitt said they would like to have been notified about a Housing New Zealand pre-fab which suddenly appeared near their Ross St home. Photo / John Stone
Onerahi residents Brian and Ann Hewitt said they would like to have been notified about a Housing New Zealand pre-fab which suddenly appeared near their Ross St home. Photo / John Stone

Rumours have been rife at Onerahi about a mystery pre-fab plonked on a Housing New Zealand section, although the housing provider is baffled as to why the "business as usual" home caused concern.

Ann and Brian Hewitt said they were disappointed HNZ had not communicated with neighbours about the newly-arrived building on Ross St, which arrived on a truck two weeks ago. The site had sat empty for two years after the HNZ house formerly on the site caught fire and was subsequently demolished.

But a HNZ spokeswoman said the four-bedroom house was "business as usual" and the provider, like a private owner, was not required to consult with neighbours. The spokeswoman said the house was a normal residential house which would sleep a family of up to eight, depending on the ages of the children.

The Hewitts countered it would have been nice to have received a letter, given the site had been vacant for so long.

"It just got plonked there," Mrs Hewitt said.

"That's very reassuring I must admit," she added, on hearing the building was to be a family home.

The site's direct neighbour, who wanted to stay anonymous, said the building "kind of just turned up". She too had been curious. "What can you do though? For us, we were more concerned about losing our view," she said.

"Housing New Zealand is committed to providing homes to people in need and by replacing [the] demolished house with a four-bedroom home, relocated from Springhill Prison, we are doing just that," the spokeswoman said.

Inmates at Waikato's Springhill Prison refurbished older houses on behalf of HNZ.

The spokeswoman said while HNZ did not have to consult with residents about activity on its sections, provided they complied with the district plan, they welcomed enquiries.

- Northern Advocate

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