A new house
Suzanne and I lived in Botanical Road for over four years when the land lord came to see me to say that he had sold the flats to the old people’s home next door. I was quite worried we would be homeless but the manager came over and said that we could stay until we found another place.
My OT said it was the perfect time to push for a state house. We were on the waiting list and had been for some time but now we could possible become homeless and a poor defenceless “severely handicapped child” would be on the street. Well that is the gist of what she wrote in the letter. She also got the manager of the old people’s home to write and say she wanted to take over the property.
I got a call from Housing NZ to tell me there were a couple of properties available. One was in 20th Avenue, just around the corner which I thought would be perfect, the other was in Henderson Crescent, Merivale. I knew Merivale, Dad and Margaret lived there, just off the main road down from the shops. with my baby brother but I didn’t know Henderson Crescent at all. I had to look it up on the map.
Merivale is one of the poorest suburbs in Tauranga. There was a huge number of state houses with private houses on the main street or at the end of some streets, particularly those that looked over the estuary.There was also a really nice part towards town. Parts of it, I knew were controlled by gangs and it was pretty rough in places. Marty took us for a drive by. Parts of Henderson Crescent were quite nice, the inside of the crescent was private housing, state houses were on the other side of the road.
I was given a key and told to have a look. First impressions weren’t good. It was quite overgrown and someone had thrown a TV out of the house and on to the lawn. It was two bedrooms and the kitchen dining area wasn’t well designed. It had a huge section then sloped down. The man at Housing NZ said I could move in. But I said what about the house in 20th Avenue, it is closer to the hospital so better for us. No he said, it has gone, anyway it was too big, 3 bedrooms and you only need two.
Reluctantly, I moved in, I knew if I refused this house it would take a long time to get another one. And it wasn’t so bad, It wasn’t a bad street, the houses were well kept except for a couple of rough ones a couple of doors down. The rent was much cheaper as well so all in all it was’t a bad deal.
Marty also moved, into a house owned by one of my friends, it was just around the corner at the flash end of Merivale. It was a nice place and it was on the market.. They wanted $50,000 for it, a bargain but we didn’t have any money. We were realistic, our chances of owning our own house were really slim.
Suzanne and I settled in our new house. It was bigger than the flat and a much bigger garden. The neighbours were lovely. Despite my initial reservations, it was a nice place and I felt I would be happy there.
And so I would be.
© Barbara Hart 2014