Finally, some action for elderly homeowners

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 11:38 29/03/2014

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Ninety-year-old Peggy Holdthuson may now get to see her childhood home repaired before she dies.

This week The Press highlighted the cases of some of the city's elderly residents still waiting for action on their quake-damaged homes.

Estimates from the Insurance Council of New Zealand, combined with outstanding EQC claims, revealed that more than 5000 of the region's most at-risk residents were awaiting the repair or rebuild of their damaged homes.

Holdthuson, a New Brighton resident, waited patiently for three years for her cherished family home to be repaired - only to be told her insurance company had no idea her claim existed.

She has fought and overcome cancer, has been admitted to hospital twice for pneumonia, and is now in hospital again for an unrelated illness.

After inquiries into her case, State Insurance said the company did not know the claim had been passed on to it by EQC.

State then pledged to have contractors at her home by the end of the week.

Speaking yesterday from Princess Margaret Hospital, Holdthuson said she was pleased to finally know the status of her claim.

St Martins resident Alf Johnson, 92, had been growing frustrated at the inaction on his sloping Roscoe St home since the decision was reached to demolish and rebuild it on the same site.

Under instruction to vacate the home by Christmas, he had been half-packed for almost six months.

His insurer, State, maintained it had kept Johnson up to date on all delays with his claim - which Johnson denied.

He said he "finally" received a number of calls the day his story was printed, and had a meeting with State representatives and contractors yesterday where they had a "big pow-wow about what's going to happen".

Johnson was now scheduled to move out of his home on April 28 so it can be demolished.

"I'm happy. They've finally had a wake-up call."

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- The Press

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