Airconditioning plea for public housing tenants As the recent heatwave hit the Carlton North housing estate one elderly resident died and another used a fire hose to douse the building's scorching red bricks.
John Kirkinis, 48, spent the week chasing airconditioning and played cards with a friend in the cool confines of shopping centres, libraries, hotels and a discount ray ban sunglasses pizza restaurant. With several disabilities, Mr Kirkinis needs a wheelchair. He said his ground floor 1950s apartment was unbearably hot in summer, making it hard to breathe. Mr Kirkinis is one of many public housing tenants who think the Department of Housing should provide airconditioning units. ''It takes three days to heat up, and four days to cool down,'' he said. ''At times it will be cooler outside than it is in here, because the hot air can't ray ban cats 1000 escape. A Department of Human Services spokesman said: ''As a landlord, DHS is held to the same requirements as private landlords, which do not require the provision of airconditioning. Tenants are also able to install their own airconditioner with permission of the department.'' The department runs airconditioned community facilities for tenants on days of extreme heat, although these are not available at every estate. It said it also phoned elderly tenants who lived alone, part of its keeping in touch program. The Friends of Public Housing Victoria's spokeswoman, Fiona Ross, said many public housing tenants would be happy to go without cosmetic upgrades in favour of airconditioning, thicker underlays and carpets. ''During heatwaves, with outside temperatures reaching 40 degrees, and temperatures inside the flats sometimes even hotter, airconditioning is no longer a luxury, but a necessity,'' she said. And the government's policy of installing airconditioning for tenants with medical conditions should be better advertised. Soaring temperatures forced some Flemington residents to sleep on a nearby ray ban eyeglass frames oval and in the airconditioned communal area. Others packed overnight bags and stayed with relatives and friends.
The Greens have urged the state government to install airconditioning for all public housing residents who need it. The Victorian Greens' health spokeswoman, Colleen Hartland, who has worked with ray ban sunglasses polarized sale older people living in high rise estates, said public housing tenants were particularly susceptible to heat related illness and death. She has called on the government to conduct an inquiry into the state's ''clear lack of preparation'' for heatwaves, and said the department's current policy of installing airconditioners for the vulnerable was not reaching everyone in need.
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