6000 Christchurch homeowners apply for EQC on-sold programme

Photo: RNZ / Conan Young
Photo: RNZ / Conan Young
Almost 6000 homeowners have applied to the Earthquake Commission for funding to fix missed earthquake damage.

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

In October, EQC told the Herald it had received almost six times more applications than it initially expected, but still believed it had enough money.

Today, the organisation confirmed it had written to all applicants requesting documents to prove their eligibility, such as sale and purchase agreements and pre-purchase building reports.

EQC's head of on-solds, Pip Andrews. Photo: Logan Church / NZH
EQC's head of on-solds, Pip Andrews. Photo: Logan Church / NZH
"Once we have reviewed their eligibility, each eligible homeowner will be matched with a settlement specialist to take them through the assessment and settlement process," said EQC head of on-solds Pip Andrews.

An August, mail-out by EQC to more than 44,000 Canterbury homes purchased since 2011, plus advertising on radio and in newspapers, brought in more than 3000 applications in the final month.

Andrews said the majority of applicants would be informed of their eligibility before the end of January 2021, if they provide their information in 2020.

"This will result in a lot of work kicking off for the residential building industry in Canterbury early next year. Alongside qualified and licensed building practitioners, homeowners will oversee their own repair process."

One homeowner, who had applied for the fund, said in September that discovering his family's main asset was "worthless" was very traumatic, and hoped the programme would help his family more forward.

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