Family now warm in new state house

New state house tenants Brendan Selwood and children Emily (8, left) and Alex (6) arrive at their...
New state house tenants Brendan Selwood and children Emily (8, left) and Alex (6) arrive at their new Green Island home. Photo: Peter McIntosh
After being evicted from a damp house, Brendan Selwood and his two children have a warm and dry new home.

Last week,  Mr Selwood spoke about living in a Brighton house which was cold and damp, meaning the whole family had to sleep in the lounge.

An inadequate fence meant his daughter, who has Down syndrome, was often able to  run away.

Mr Selwood said after the article in the Otago Daily Times, his landlord gave him a month to move out of the property.

He blamed him for the state of the house, he said.

He told this to the Ministry of Social Development soon after.

On Thursday he was offered a new state house in Green Island and yesterday he moved in.

It was one of 10 new state houses built in Dunedin through the regional housing scheme.

He was "quite shocked" to get a new house, he said.

"It’s unreal really. I’m quite shocked. I wasn’t expecting a brand new one, and so soon."

It was great to be in a house that was "safe, warm and dry", he said.

Mr Selwood looks after his children full-time.

Ministry of Social Development regional director Sue Rissman said she was pleased  Mr Selwood had been offered a brand new home.He went on the social housing register in February, she said.

Since then his need for a public house had increased and so the ministry had "worked hard" to find him somewhere permanent to live.

"The social housing register is not a time-ranked waitlist. In order to give priority to the people who most need our help with accommodation, we have a set of criteria that we follow when making housing assessments.

"It’s our priority that all New Zealanders have a warm, safe and dry place to live and we work with Housing New Zealand and community housing providers to make that happen."

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