5700 applications received for missed quake-damage fund

About 5700 applications had been received for the $300m programme. Photo: Rebecca Claridge...
About 5700 applications had been received for the $300m programme. Photo: Rebecca Claridge Photography
The Earthquake Commission is confident it has enough money to fix Christchurch properties with large amounts of missed earthquake damage, despite receiving almost six times the number of applications it initially expected.

Last year the Government announced a $300m package to address "on-solds" - properties bought after the Canterbury earthquakes by unsuspecting owners who later found undiscovered earthquake damage.

If repairs went over a $115,000 EQC cap homeowners were left having to dip into their own pockets to cover the repairs.

The nightmarish scenario these homeowners found themselves in was of no fault of their own – one homeowner, who had applied for the $300m fund, said in September discovering his family's main asset was "worthless" was very traumatic.

The deadline for applications to access the $300m fund closed at midnight on Wednesday.

EQC's head of on-solds, Pip Andrews, told the Herald about 5700 applications had been received, with the final paper applications still being sorted through.

EQC's Pip Andrews said she believed the $300m was enough. Photo: Logan Church / NZH
EQC's Pip Andrews said she believed the $300m was enough. Photo: Logan Church / NZH
When the programme launched, EQC initially thought there might be 1000 applications.

"It's quite a large number of applications," Andrews said.

"In the last week EQC received about 1500 applications ... it's been a big couple of weeks."

Those applications would be triaged over the coming two months.

In September, Andrews said the cost for repairing the properties on applications it had received, 2700 at that point, would be about $250m.

Despite the final number being almost six times the original estimate, Andrews was confident there was enough money to fix the homes of those who applied.

"We're hoping by the end of the month we'll have a really clear picture of what that looks like, but I'm not particularly concerned that number is going to grow exponentially," she said.

"That's because for the vast majority of these applications they are not going to exceed [what EQC can already pay in] the EQC act and therefore most people won't require the crown funds to be drawn down at all."

"While it seems like a really big number ... actually the number that will go through and receive Crown funds is quite significantly smaller than that," she said.

Many of the applications were to fix undiscovered damage to foundations - repairs that were often costly, and in some cases, made worse by botched attempts to fix it in the past by EQC.

New applications for the fund would not be received.

 

 

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