Temporary houses to be put at holiday park for Edgecumbe residents

From left, Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith, Helena Kesha, Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne, East Coast MP Anne ...
MATT SHAND/FAIRFAX NZ

From left, Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith, Helena Kesha, Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne, East Coast MP Anne Tolley and Dave Kesha outside the Keshas' one-bedroom temporary cottage.

Temporary housing will be established at the Whakatane Holiday Park for flood-hit Edgecumbe residents. 

The government announced on Thursday that about 30 temporary homes will be moved on to the holiday park or actually erected on damaged Edgecumbe properties. 

Dave and Helena Kesha have already benefited from the scheme. They were the first residents to move into a temporary house on their property.

The one-bedroom cottage has made a real difference to their financial and personal situation.

Dave and Helen Kesha are already living in their temporary one-bedroom cottage, erected on their flood-hit Edgecumbe ...
Matt Shand

Dave and Helen Kesha are already living in their temporary one-bedroom cottage, erected on their flood-hit Edgecumbe property.

READ MORE:
Heartbreaking cleanup in flood-stricken Edgecumbe
How to help Edgecumbe and other flood-damaged eastern BOP 
*' Hard day' for Edgecumbe residents returning home to flood
Photo essay: Edgecumbe in ruins

"We were staying at a motel at $900 a week," Dave said. "It really starts to chew through your insurance money. This is $250 and it's on site."

Not only is it cheaper, they no longer have to travel to deal with the repairs.

"It's good to be right here for the builders," Helena said. "It also has power, a shower and bathroom. And it's really warm inside - too warm, if anything."

More than 250 homes were damaged when the Rangitaiki River broke its banks last month. 

"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Temporary Accommodation Service has had more than 90 registrations from people with damaged homes who need support to find temporary accommodation," East Coast MP and lead minister for Edgecumbe Anne Tolley said in a statement. 

"Over 2800 Civil Defence payments, totalling more than $722,000, have been made to help people with food, clothing and bedding, and there have also been over 230 other emergency-related payments totalling about $41,000."

The temporary housing that will be moved to Whakatane Holiday Park and, where suitable, adjacent to flood-damaged homes, will enable people to stay connected to their community while their homes are repaired, said Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith.

"These are to complement the other housing options available through the private market, including holiday accommodation and social housing. The total initiative will include about 30 temporary homes," Smith said. 

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These solutions have proved very effective in supporting the recovery in the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes Smith said. 

The first homes arrived this week and the government is working with the Whakatane District council to have the temporary village operational next month.

One of the worst hit areas, Rata Avenue, has had its first portable unit delivered and installed 

"This is the first of a number of portable homes to be made available to homeowners who wish to stay on their own land. They will be connected to existing services where possible," Smith said.

Helena said being back home makes them feel more secure at nights.

"It's good for peace of mind."

The Keshas hope to have their home repaired soon. In the interim, they're happy to be staying on their slice of Edgecumbe.
 

 - Stuff

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