You will recall that last week there was a link in the Tuesday Club notes to this article ‘I can’t wait to drop dead’: Elderly couple desperate to leave freezing, mouldy flat | Stuff.co.nz.
At the time I wondered if in fact this was an accurate article. This week Cate Kearney, who was one of the speakers at the Tuesday Club last week, issued the comments below. They do demonstrate that the article in the Press was downright dishonest. Here’s the response from Cate:
You may be aware of a story about an ŌCHT property published in The Press and on Stuff.co.nz on Saturday. It may have raised some questions and we’d like to give you some background to help.
The story comes from a media approach made in early October. We were not given the identity of the tenant or the precise nature of their complaint, or in which part of the complex they lived. We answered as best as we could with the maintenance information we had about the complex.
We now know the property the reporter’s query related to. We have checked our records and – without disclosing any personal information – we’d like to let you know what we know.
The property has been subject to maintenance work as part of the Christchurch City Council/ŌCHT Warm and Dry Initiative:
- Heatpump installed on 4 March 2020
- Bathroom ventilation installed on 4 March 2020
- Draught stopping completed on 3 September 2020
- Quality audit of works completed on 3 September 2020
- Ceiling insulation completed on 19 November 2020
- A cleaning service was offered in April 2020
Additionally, thermal-backed curtains are timetabled to be installed before June 2021.
Inspections and visits were made to the property in May and November 2019; and in February, June, August and September 2020. The last inspection notes no mould, no repairs required, and no property-related health & safety concerns.
As mentioned in our responses to the newspaper’s general questions, black mould was not identified as an issue at the complex. We can now confirm we have no record of mould being identified in any inspection of the property identified in the story.
Our tenancy advisor is a fantastic advocate for tenants and we know they go the extra mile for all tenants, not just this household. We’ve recorded four visits or calls to the property in 2020.
ŌCHT places our tenants at the centre of everything we do. As a Social Landlord we support our tenants to access whatever assistance they may need from social and health agencies.
To enhance this, we this year established a Wellbeing Team to even more effectively support our tenants with their specific needs. We’re incredibly proud of the work our team does.
I hope this information reassures you that we continue to put the best interests of our tenants at the centre of everything we do, and that we have been upgrading our older properties to make sure people have a warm and dry home to live in. It’s worth noting our recent annual tenant satisfaction survey found 84% of tenants agreed their home is warm, dry and weathertight, up from 59% in 2019.
When will the Press start to behave as a serious reporter of facts?