A fire damaged state-owned home has been empty for seven months after Housing New Zealand struggled to find anyone interested in fixing it.
The Housing New Zealand unit on Durham Ave, Tamatea, was torched on Christmas Day, and while HNZ still mowed the lawns, the house itself had not been repaired.
However work was scheduled to start soon.
Durham Ave resident John Wuts said the unit sitting empty for so long was "criminal", especially given the growing need for social housing in Hawke's Bay.
"A family could be in here, you know, a mum with kids," Wuts said.
He described the unit as an eyesore and said it was especially unfair to the people in neighbouring Housing New Zealand units, some having suffered smoke damage during the initial fire.
"Why should those people in Unit 5 have to put up with living like that?" Wuts said.
Wuts said normally Housing New Zealand did a great job looking after the units.
Andrew Cairns, Area Manager for HNZ had good news for Wuts - work on the unit was due to start in a month.
"A contract to reinstate the house has now been signed, building consent has been issued and initial work will start next month," Cairns said.
Work had not begun earlier due to a lack of interest in their bid to tender, Cairns said.
"Earlier this year, we put the work out to tender but this did not attract initial interest," Cairns said.
"We hope the new home will be ready by the end of the year for a new family."
Cairns said Housing NZ was grateful no one was hurt in the fire.
According to the Ministry of Social Development website, in March 2018 there were 238 people on the waiting list for social housing in Napier.
This was an increase of more than 100 people compared to March 2017.