GREAT-GRANDPARENTS who have lived in a HomesWest property for the past 40 years say they would go out in a body bag before they are forced from their home after being served a notice to vacate.
Graham and Lorrae Hastie have called their three bedroom Hudson Road property home for the past 43 years.
The couple, both in their 60s, said they “nearly passed out” when they received a vacate notice from the Department of Housing for surpassing the allowable weekly income total by less than $400 in the last financial year.
The couple has been given until January 2 to vacate the premises.
Mr Hastie attributed the additional funds the couple made to overtime at his work and said the eviction notice was not fair after decades of work on the property.
“We have never been behind on rent, we even place rent before food,” he said.
“I have put in a bore, shed, patio, reticulation, paint and maintenance here.
“The home doesn’t mean anything to the outside world, but it has been ours since we have been married.”
The couple said they have attempted to buy the home back from the government twice over the four decade span but had been unsuccessful.
Mr Hastie works as a manual labourer to support his wife who is on the disability pension.
The couple said they would appeal the decision and look at every option before eviction day comes.
“We won’t go out without a fight,” Mr Hastie said.
Department of Housing general manager of service delivery Steve Parry said in order to manage the number of people on the social housing waiting list, the department must ensure public housing properties are provided to those most in need.
Mr Parry said a formal appeals process is in place but ineligibility itself cannot be appealed, only the process used to reach the decision. He added length of time spent in public housing is not grounds for appeal.
Mr Parry said the couple’s situation will be reviewed again in six months.