The state landlord claims it is “satisfied” that a property riddled with mould “has generally been in reasonable order”.
The Vahai family have lived in a state house in the Auckland suburb of Mangere since 2006.
It is leaking and mould is evident throughout the three bedroom home. The backyard is also sodden and the family claims it’s because of broken pipes.
In the last year, 78-year-old Makeleta Vahai was diagnosed with terminal cancer and her daughter has asked Housing New Zealand for a new property.
“It's not fair my mum has to suffer because it's not her choice to be sick,” Taeiloa Vahai told 1 NEWS.
Health professionals have written to Housing New Zealand in support of the family’s plight.
Doctor Joshua Smith from Counties Manukau Health wrote: “We would support this notion to ensure the family has the appropriate housing environment to ensure optimal care for Mrs Vahai”.
East Tamaki Healthcare’s doctor Natasha Bansal also sent a letter asking, “please could you find suitable accommodation as soon as possible for Makeleta so that she can be discharged safely from the hospital.”
A Housing New Zealand spokesman said that its team has been actively working with the Vahai family regarding a transfer to a home that will meet her needs.
“HNZ is satisfied that the property has generally been in reasonable order. However it was built in 1972 and like all nearly 50 year old buildings it has required increasingly regular maintenance. This has been done via both planned maintenance programmes and also when any property issues have occurred for our tenant,” the spokesman said.
Housing New Zealand claims there have been a number of repair or cleaning jobs, some of which were repeated, including broken windows, a toilet cistern that detached from the wall, a faulty shower mixer, a leaky toilet cistern, a faulty oven, a loose or damaged external door lock, a blocked toilet, mould, a blocked sink and loose window stays.
It said the “substantial rainfall over a number of days” is the reason for the sodden backyard.
1 NEWS has asked the agency for the specific requests the family had made for help and the exact work that had been carried out on the property, but three weeks on there has been no detailed response.
“I would like Housing New Zealand to reassess my mums needs. Her health is very important and basically this property is not helping with her condition,” Taeiloa Vahai said.
Housing New Zealand has found a new house for the Vahai family as the current house “is in an area due for significant redevelopment”, with the promise they will be moving in December.