Structural Repairs Should Not Affect Residents

8 June 2012
By Jeff Anderson

I was recently reading an article posted in the Sydney Morning Herald (“No end in sight to the waiting game on Bunn Street”) about an apartment complex in Pyrmont Sydney with chronic structural issues and fire safety non-compliance.  Due to these issues, residents had been forced to move out of the building in 2009 until such time the identified issues were rectified. Sadly, the residents are still not back at home in their apartments; instead, they are being housed at a cost of $90,000 a month, in Zetland.

This is just mind-boggling. Not only is the cost of housing the residents elsewhere an unnecessary drain on the coffers of the NSW Government, but it is a gross imposition on the residents themselves who have been moved across town from the waterside suburb of Pyrmont to Zetland, a suburb in close proximity to the airport.

In the article Mr. Mark Terry, a resident affected by the building issues was quoted:
“[I’m] disheartened by the fact that they don’t seem to understand that there’s people involved here. We just want to go back into our units and live our lives.”

To my mind, this is as much the issue as anything else. Whilst it is important that builders are held to account for their mistakes, it is truly time that the structural repair industry – and the powers that be – wake up to the fact that structural defects which fall under Home Warranty Insurance impact residents on a deeper level than just financially. It comes back to something we have always known and have incorporated into the way we at Remedial provide our services: structural defects affect lives, not just bank balances, therefore our work must mitigate both issues as effectively as possible.

As I see it, much more needs to be done to rectify structural issues under HWI and to ensure that required work be done in an efficient, timely manner and which ensures residents are back in their rightful homes sooner, with as little impact on their lives as possible. Anything else is just unfair.