Infection, frustration, stress

'There's no quality of living'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 12/09/2012
Bryony and Daniel Bedggood, with children Eva and Tom, live and sleep in the central part of their badly damaged TC3-category home.
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
STRESSED: Bryony and Daniel Bedggood, with children Eva and Tom, live and sleep in the central part of their badly damaged TC3-category home.

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Silt under the floorboards, holes in the roof, dust permeating the walls and chest colds all round.

It's just another day in the life of the Bedggood family-of-four.

Their Richmond home was broken in three by the February 22 quake and was zoned technical category 3 (green-blue).

The couple opted to hold off using their temporary accommodation allowance until their home rebuild was planned.

Eighteen months and a failed bid to be rezoned red later, desperate now sounds like an understatement.

"We're on borrowed time. We need concrete information before we get out into a rental," Bryony Bedggood said.

In the meantime, they have to share two rooms between the four as the rest are out of bounds. Bedggood and husband Dan sleep in the living room after Eva, 9, and Tom, 11, go to bed.

She said all four took antihistamine pills daily because of the dust coming from the ceiling cavity and silt under the house.

"We're unhealthy, we're very stressed out. There's no quality of living in half a house," she said.

The roof had been patched for the fifth time on Monday to prepare for this week's bad weather.

"It's not a nice place to live in. It moves in the wind," she said. "My daughter has a chest infection and sinus infection. It's the second week for her."

Tom had had a chest cold, which she had since come down with. "It's respiratory all the time."

Bedggood was one of more than 600 people to respond to an online survey organised by TC3 residents, where more than half of the respondents said they were living in a house with major damage.

Other top complaints were stress, the slowness of progress, waiting for drilling information and overall dissatisfaction with the performance of their insurer, the Earthquake Commission (EQC), the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) and the Christchurch City Council.

"It's a tick for health, a tick for crappy house, a tick for EQC. It's so intertwined," Bedggood said.

She feared people would get so desperate they would take cash settlements that did not reflect the value of their properties just to get out of the situation and expressed her frustration at the apparent lack of governance and slow pace of recovery.

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- The Press

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