Kāinga Ora says it is urgently trying to relocate a tenant after he nailed the windows of his state home shut to stop what he says is intimidation by gang members.
The man has also barricaded his front door, and says he has repeatedly asked Kāinga Orato move him.
He told Hawke’s Bay Today that police had contacted the government agency in support of his request.
The witness alleges he is being subjected to regular nighttime gang intimidation and threats.
He also told Hawke’s Bay Today that Kāinga Ora had told him his request was low priority.
However, a Kāinga Ora spokesperson told Hawke’s Bay Today that the organisation was now “moving quickly to help our customer and provide options from which they can choose to help keep them safe”.
“We’ll continue to work with police on this matter too.”
Hawke’s Bay Today has visited the man’s house and seen the lengths he is going to protect himself.
The man has been living in the Kāinga Ora property for the past seven years.
He alleges he was assaulted after a car, belonging to someone who, he says, owed “a lot of money” to a gang, was parked on his lawn.
Police subsequently laid charges against several people.
The man said he had since had nightly visits from gang members and associates.
“They come into my garden, look through the windows, drink.”
There was an occasion recently where his windows had been smashed, he said.
The man said he had repeatedly requested Kāinga Ora to shift him to a new home, but was told he was “low priority”.
“Do you have to be dead before they move you?” he said.
“I am paranoid, stressed. I sleep in the lounge because it’s the centre of the house.”
Hawke’s Bay Today has spoken to police about the man’s case.
As the allegations are before the courts, they are not commenting publicly.
The man’s request for a new address comes at a time when the region’s state housing is under pressure.
Last week a spokesperson for Housing Minister Megan Woods said across government, there was a major programme under way to increase the supply of public housing and improve affordability and supply.
“Ultimately this is a long-term solution to the Emergency Housing issue, but we are on track for 18,000 new Kainga Ora homes by 2024,” they said.
The spokesperson had said Hastings was one of the first places where HUD rolled out its place-based approach.
“The Hastings place-based approach is making good progress in understanding the specific housing challenges in Hastings and tailoring responses for them.”
Hastings District Council received $12 million of shovel-ready funding in 2020 for infrastructure to enable housing, the spokesperson said.
“The council has combined this with local investment, to develop a range of sites and housing types on council-owned land, including medium-density housing and progressive home ownership.
“Community engagement has taken place, and infrastructure work will start in September. Kainga Ora is on track to deliver about 200 additional public homes in Hastings by June 2022.”
As of March 2021, Napier (750) led the way with the highest number of people on the Housing Register in Hawke’s Bay, followed by Hastings (714), Wairoa (84) and Central Hawke’s Bay (63).
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