Repairs signed off for just five quake-damaged council housing units
Christchurch City councillors are pushing for faster repairs to damaged council housing units amid revelations that only five have been signed off for repair so far.
Councillors were told at a workshop yesterday that 436 of the council's 2649 housing units were closed because of earthquake damage.
To date, repairs had been approved for only five units, despite the council receiving $21 million from the Earthquake Commission for repairs.
Councillor Aaron Keown said he found that unacceptable, given the time that had passed since the quakes, and asked what steps the council could take to hasten repairs or get new units built.
Council community services general manager Michael Aitken acknowledged the process of getting units signed off for repair had been slow, saying staff resources had been tied up in the assessment process.
Staff were now turning more attention towards repairs, so the process should speed up. He said there were plans to build extra units in six of the council's housing complexes.
With 436 units closed, the council is losing more than $52,000 a week in rent - about $2.7 million a year.
There are 297 people on the waiting list for council housing. Ten have been assessed as in "urgent" need, 112 as "medium urgent" and the remainder were assessed as having "non-urgent" needs.
Detailed engineering evaluations have been completed, or are under way, on nearly 30 per cent of the council's housing stock, but with the reports on each housing complex taking an average of eight weeks to complete, it will be the end of March 2014 before the process is finished.
Councillor Yani Johanson, who chairs the community, recreation and culture committee, said councillors wanted urgent action to restore capacity in the housing stock.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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