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Holes in the ceiling and mould forces Gungahlin man Grant Seears out of freezing apartment

Havelock Housing Association tennant Grant Seears says he has been unable to live in his Gungahlin apartment for several ...
Havelock Housing Association tennant Grant Seears says he has been unable to live in his Gungahlin apartment for several months due to lack of maintenance. Photo: Graham Tidy

A Gungahlin man claims he is unable to live in his freezing community housing apartment due to lack of maintenance which has forced him to live with holes in his ceiling. 

A gaping hole and bitter temperatures greet visitors as they enter the door of 34-year-old Grant Seears' apartment.

Water leaks have caused mould to grow on the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment.
Water leaks have caused mould to grow on the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment. Photo: Graham Tidy

Two more holes are boarded over, water damaged, and at least one is covered in mould. 

Mr Seears claims he has been unable to stay at his apartment for several months as community housing provider Havelock Housing Association, which manages the unit, has not fixed the holes, which he says have been there for almost three years. 

Mould has formed over wood Havelock Housing Association has used to board up holes in the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment.
Mould has formed over wood Havelock Housing Association has used to board up holes in the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment. Photo: Graham Tidy

With the help of his younger brother Justin, Mr Seears - who has been deaf since birth - said he has been staying at his girlfriend's house since the beginning of winter as the apartment he has rented for about nine years was too cold. 

"About three years ago, a light just fell [from the celing] and then more holes started appearing and I told Havelock and they came past and looked at it and they haven't fixed it," he said. 

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"They cut the holes about one and a half years ago and boarded them up and they haven't done anything. They just haven't repaired it."

A spokesman from Havelock Housing Association confirmed the roof had water leaks.

Gaping holes in the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment are causing the heat to escape.
Gaping holes in the ceiling of Grant Seears' apartment are causing the heat to escape. Photo: Graham Tidy

"We've had consultants in and they've actually been diagnosing the problem and retification work has been approved," he said.

"That work is significant and that will be ongoing probably over the next 12 months so it's going to be done by piece-by-piece." 

The spokesman said issues had been addressed as they occured. 

"It's now reached the stage where the piecemeal pipe work isn't going to be sufficient. We would like to do things a lot quicker but... It took a long time to identify the various issues," he said.

"As the issues have been reported to us, we then commence work orders, those issues are then dealt with."

The spokesman said consultants had found the cause of the problem and the property's owner had given the go-ahead for work over the next 12 months.

He did not believe the apartment would need to be vacated while work was underway.

Mr Seears said his heater broke about three months ago, but the Havelock spokesman said the broken heater was only reported on Wednesday and 

within 30 to 60 minutes the housing provider had began processes to fix it.

The spokesman said the housing provider had met with tenants several times to update them about the work and repairs but Mr Seears and his family had not attended.