EQC cheque buoys council home repairs

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 09/06/2014

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The Christchurch City Council's social housing repair and rebuild programme has received a $15 million cash injection from the Earthquake Commission (EQC).

The payment follows one of $21.4m in April 2011.

Concerns were raised last month that if the council did not get at least another $10m to repair its damaged social housing stock, the programme could falter.

In the worst-case scenario, the council would not have any money tofix or rebuild its quake-damaged housing stock beyond August.

Housing committee chairman Councillor Glenn Livingstone welcomed the payment, saying it was $5m more than had been asked for.

The waiting list for council housing continued to grow, and it was " imperative that we get it fixed".

About 97 per cent of the council's 2649 social housing units were damaged in the earthquakes and need repairs or replacement.

"EQC is showing an ongoing commitment to social housing, and to those in our community who are tenants in those dwellings," Livingstone said.

"This payment now means we can keep our social housing repair programme underway until we reach a global settlement with EQC."

To date, 311 units have been repaired and 12 new ones built.

With this most recent payment, the council is aiming to repair or replace an additional 280 units before the end of the year.

"In the meantime we are continuing our work with EQC to resolve our social housing claim on a global basis," Livingstone said. "A global settlement would avoid the costs involved in claiming for repairs on a unit-by-unit basis."

He would not comment on how much the council believed it was entitled to from EQC.

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- The Press

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