Social housing providers are forking out tens of thousands of dollars to decontaminate properties that have tested positive for methamphetamine residue.
Sixty-five Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties in the Christchurch, Nelson and Marlborough regions have tested positive for P, and the number of affected houses across the country is increasing.
On average, it costs HNZ more than $14,000 to test and decontaminate each unit.
So that’s one million dollars spent which could have gone on providing additional homes.
Christchurch Methodist Mission executive director Jill Hawkey said methamphetamine contamination posed the “greatest risk” to social housing programmes.
The Mission spent $80,000 to test and decontaminate a property in 2015. The tenants were evicted prior to the test, and jib, carpet, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and anything that absorbed the P had to be ripped out.
“You have a few of those and you end up in a position where you can no longer provide social housing. You can’t get insurance, and in terms of funding you get from the Ministry of Social Development for housing . . . it’s certainly not included in the amount of funding you get for that.”
You need serious consequences for those who contaminate the houses.