“Fighting, drugs, late-night parties, abusive behaviour” residents have had enough

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jun 13, 2022 |

Gloucester Street, scene of double stabbing

Residents at an inner-city Christchurch social housing complex have accused their landlord of turning a blind eye to anti-social behaviour and crime.

It follows an incident at 250 Gloucester Street, where two people were stabbed early Sunday morning. Both received serious injuries and were rushed to hospital.

The complex is managed by the Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust. A resident told Chris Lynch the trust has ignored anti-social behaviour.

“This isn’t the first instance of trouble. There’s been a lot of fighting, drugs, late-night parties, abusive behaviour in the driveway from this group. It has been going on for months, police have been here dozens of times.”

Another resident who lives at the complex said he is constantly worried about his personal safety.

“I have to live here, we all just want peace, but it feels like it won’t go away anytime soon. Even CCTV in the driveway hasn’t stopped the crime.”

A Christchurch resident said her daughter was a tenant at the complex, but she eventually “pulled her out” and got her to come home.

“She was terrified of her neighbours as they were gangs and thugs.”

Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust General Manager Tenancy Robert Hardie

Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust General Manager Tenancy Robert Hardie said the trust has followed up on all concerns it received.

“We do what we can as a landlord. We urge anyone who witnesses any criminal behaviour to contact the police in the first instance – they’re best placed to step in where landlords can’t. The CCTV cameras and the large warning signs that accompany them were installed as part of a programme tackling illegal dumping.

A former worker from Otautahi Trust said “I can tell you that from experience the Gloucester Courts complex is full of a lot of different walks of life, but majority of them have lived there for years.”

“I was there tenancy manager and became very close to all of them which kept the level of “anti social” behaviour to very rare minimum. OCHT changed there ways and decided to get rid of tenancy managers and develop new roles as welfare advisors roles that have taken away the personal touches that worked so well.”

But Hardie said this isn’t the case. “Our specialised roles in our tenancy management team ensure we meet the high tenancy management standards set for a Community Housing Provider and the service level expectations of our internationally benchmarked ISO quality assurance accreditation.”

He said the trust has contacted police to understand more about the situation but said landlords aren’t automatically told when police visit.

“We urge people to contact us when they have raised a police complaint.”

“New tenants come to us from the Ministry of Social Development’s Public Housing Register. We do our best to match people with communities based on what we learn from the register, and what is disclosed to us by applicants and other agencies.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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