Big increase in meth-contaminated state houses

  • 01/02/2016
Big increase in meth-contaminated state houses

The number of methamphetamine contaminated state homes has soared with Housing New Zealand not ruling out increased testing of houses when they become vacant.

Instances of methamphetamine contaminated state homes have jumped by more than 700 percent in the past 18 months, from just 28 in the year to June 2014, to 229 by June 2015.

Housing New Zealand chief operating officer Paul Commons says the agency constantly reviews its procedures and the testing all state houses upon vacancy was a possibility.

State homes where the occupant is suspected of using methamphetamine or where it believed to be used as a clandestine drug lab are the only properties currently tested.

Ministry of Health guidelines state that readings of 0.5 micrograms per 100cm squared or more means the property is contaminated and must be remediated.

It costs between $600 and $1800 to test whether a property has been contaminated by methamphetamine but making the house livable again can cost up to $30,000.

Housing New Zealand spent more than $700,000 remediating contaminated homes in the 2014 financial year but costs soared to more than $2.3 million the following year.

NZN