Repair despair for public housing families

22.04.2014. Peta Kennedy, 53, inspecting the makeshift repairs made by Housing NSW to their shower recess. Picture: Anna Warr

22.04.2014. Peta Kennedy, 53, inspecting the makeshift repairs made by Housing NSW to their shower recess. Picture: Anna Warr

23.04.2014. Kheele Franklin, 19 months old, standing in front of the water damaged wall that caved in when she leant on it. Picture: Anna Warr

23.04.2014. Kheele Franklin, 19 months old, standing in front of the water damaged wall that caved in when she leant on it. Picture: Anna Warr

FROM broken water pipes and bathroom leaks to walls caved in and graffiti on the exterior, the Kennedys have seen it all at their public housing home in Willmot.

A Land and Housing Corporation report has revealed the state government has cut $42 million from the public housing maintenance in 2012-13 as the waiting list for repairs worsens.

Opposition spokeswoman Sophie Cotsis and Labor candidate for Londonderry MP Prue Car recently launched a petition in Willmot calling on the state government to reverse the maintenance cuts.

"There are lots of homes around here on the waiting list for repairs," resident Peta Kennedy said.

"Many people have complaints about being brushed aside by Housing NSW. I know somebody who has been waiting for eight years for Housing NSW to do something about a tree outside her windows. She cannot open them with flies and mosquitoes coming in."

Used syringes and a dead dog were found in the backyard when the Kennedys moved into their home three years ago.

They had to install fly screens on windows themselves.

There are concerns about holes in a wall that has caved in.

"It's clear to me the government is running out of money and is putting the funding for public housing maintenance elsewhere," Mrs Kennedy said.

Ms Cotsis has written and sent photos to Communities Services Minister Gabrielle Upton about the state of homes in Willmot.

Ms Cotsis will hold a meeting with Willmot public housing tenants in the next few months.

■ Email Prue.Car@nswlabor.org.au for petition details.

A spokesman for Communities Services Minister Gabrielle Upton said the department will spend $377 million to maintain and upgrade these properties in 2013-14.

''This includes $219 million for recurrent maintenance and $158 million for capital maintenance - an increase of more than 15 per cent on the previous year’s actual expenditure,'' he said.

''The department is committed to addressing the maintenance requirements across its asset portfolio through careful budgeting and a balanced approach to annual maintenance programs. The department carries out regular property assessment surveys to identify and assess the need for repairs. To prioritise its maintenance workload, LAHC is currently in the process of introducing a new maintenance contract system to improve the way maintenance is managed and carried out.''

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