Home found for family after fire

Photo: Christine O'Connor
Syrian former refugee Mohammad Saad Aldeen. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Replacement accommodation has been found for a Syrian former refugee family a week after its home was gutted by fire.

Mohammad Saad Aldeen's Wakari Housing New Zealand home was made unlivable after a fire caused by a cooking accident last Friday.

The kitchen and living room were largely destroyed and most items inside the house were smoke-damaged.

Until last night he, his pregnant wife and two children were staying with friends in cramped conditions in the central city.

His friends had six children, some of whom had to sleep in a bed with two others.

However, Housing New Zealand (HNZ) said today it found temporary motel accommodation for the family, which it moved into last night.

The agency also found a suitable three-bedroom house for the family, which would be ready in three to four weeks.

Mr Aldeen owns a barber business in Princes St.

He planned to open a Mosgiel branch, but the fire meant the idea was on hold, he said.

He hoped to be able to see the new house before they moved in as his wife had a nerve problem in her leg which made it difficult for her to walk up stairs.

A HNZ spokesman said it always kept Mr Aldeen updated and informed its efforts to help him and his family.

"We’re pleased we have found this temporary housing accommodation in Dunedin which is currently experiencing very high demand for motel rooms because of many events in the city and at the height of the tourist season."

HNZ area manager Gill Brown said the new property required routine maintenance between tenancies.

"This property is still tenanted but should be available in the next three to four weeks. Our teams will continue to support the family when they move into their new home."


Hope the fire service investigated it, instead of just assuming it was it an accident. People have “accidents” all the time to get better houses from housing nz.

That would be counterproductive. You can't move until one is available and they are not.

Meanwhile, you live in a wrecked house, or on the street?

Don't be ridiculous.

Understandable, accidents happen.
I’m sure it’s the type of mistake you don’t make more than once :P

What I am confused about is a business owner, foreign or not, who is/was about to open a second franchise being in HNZ emergency accommodation. What are the actual prerequisites? because owning a couple of businesses is about as far from unemployed as you can get and everyday, normal workers like myself still have to rent privately. What exactly am I missing?