May 18, 2024
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By Rayssa Almeida

Kainga Ora is still mum on what will happen to hundreds of properties that were damaged by flooding in January, 10 months later.

Around 2000 homes in Mangere (a southern Auckland suburb) were damaged by the deluge. Residents had to leave their homes when they lifted off the ground due to the rain.

Joanne* is one of those. After three years as a Kainga Ora resident at Patete Lane, she lost it all on 27th January.

We were all at home with my baby of two months, our child of two years, and our six-year old special needs. The water was coming but we did not think that it would reach our home.

It was a scary moment when the water began to pour in. When the water started coming in, I immediately took my sons upstairs. “I was using towels to try and stop the flow, but it just kept on coming.”

Joanne’s neighbours alerted her shortly after that the house was starting to move out of its foundation.

My neighbour came from behind and shouted ‘get out, it has shifted forward, and is now higher than the ground. Get out!’

Residents of the complex she lives in are left wondering what will happen next.

Kainga Ora said that we should go to an evacuation center and do it ourselves.

They could have checked on us better, you know. You could at least have run and asked how we are doing, or if there is anything we need, but they did not. “Well, I don’t think they did.”

Joanne’s Accommodation Relief Fund ended after six weeks of rent-free motel accommodation.

After checking out of the motel on the day that I was to move, KO called me and said the house I had been shown wasn’t any longer available, so I’d have to choose another, which I hadn’t yet seen.

It was distressing; it broke my heart. Then, I was exhausted; all I wanted to do was get my family into a home. Later that evening, I started to cry.”

Joanne, her husband and their family suffered a total loss of over $10,000 due to the flooding. This included their car and their entire home furniture.

Kainga Ora released a statement in which it said that all tenants are informed by the landlord of the state they will not be held responsible for damage or theft to furniture and belongings.

We recommend tenants obtain content insurance.

We try to help customers find the best organisations that can offer support when their belongings get damaged or destroyed, as they did in the recent floods.

Joanne says the information she received regarding the insurance coverage required wasn’t very clear.

We rent with Kainga Ora because we have no money for insurance. Our monthly rent is barely enough to cover our expenses.

Who would have thought that in just a few hours, your house would be ripped from its foundation and everything would disappear?

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