Jamal Ben Haddou – Centralian Advocate 2/8/2019

Appalling conditions in a public housing property have become so unbearable for an elderly Alice Springs woman that she would rather spend her day sitting out in the front yard.

Barbara Davis is a 76 year old lifelong resident of Alice Springs and has been living in her current home for 16 years.

She said the house has deteriorated overtime with wiring damaged by mice, cracks exposing the walls, mould, leakage from the ceiling and power blackouts during heavy rain.

Ms Davis, who is wheelchair bound, also suffers from kidney disease and said she is desperate to get out.

“The electricity isn’t safe. There was one time I got an electrical shock, it threw me backwards and I hit the wall behind me, “ she said.

Ms Davis receives some assistance from her partially blind grandson who carries her into the house because there is no wheelchair ramp.

“We can’t cook on the stove, it doesn’t work. But I get sandwiches after renal treatment,” she said. “I don’t like living here. I’ve wanted to leave for years.” Ms Davies said she has been waiting to be moved this year and has difficulty in making applications to the housing department on her own.

A spokesperson from the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development said works were carried out on the property over the last year however they have determined a full refurbishment is needed instead.

“The Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development has determined a full refurbishment is an appropriate course of action, rather than ongoing maintenance, “ they said.

“This will require for the tenant to transfer to appropriate accommodation as it becomes available, to allow for full access to this site.”

Natasha Craigie-Braun is a relative of Ms Davies and said she broke down in tears when she saw the deteriorated house which she would instead expect to see in an impoverished remote community rather than Alice Springs.

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