Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units

  • Hon Jenny Salesa
Building and Construction

From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says.

The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs.

“We understand how complicated it can be to fix an earthquake-prone building where there are many unit owners. Getting the finance to do this work can be difficult, if not near impossible, for some people in this situation.

“This loan scheme offers support to unit owners so that they are not put in a position where they are forced to sell their home or burdened by the stress of huge financial hardship.

“It’s important that all New Zealanders are living in warm, dry and safe homes, and this initiative is another example of the Government’s commitment to making this happen.”

The scheme will be delivered by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, with eligible unit owner-occupiers able to borrow up to $250,000.

 “The Government considered many options when developing the scheme. We believe the one we chose is the fairest for taxpayers and provides broad access for support to strengthen earthquake-prone buildings.

“It is about helping those most in need - owner occupiers in genuine hardship who can’t afford to remediate their earthquake-prone buildings without some assistance,” Jenny Salesa said.

Unit-owners will need to meet certain criteria to apply for a loan. These can be viewed on the Kāinga Ora website.

A review of the scheme is proposed in 12 months following the launch, along with an analysis of take-up (loans issued) and strengthening costs.


To be eligible for the loan scheme, applicants will need to:

  1. be a New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident in New Zealand; and
  2. be a unit owner-occupier.

They will need to demonstrate:

  • they cannot get finance from a lender; or
  • if offered a loan from a lender, the owner is required to sell their unit when the building is no longer earthquake prone as part of the loan condition; or
  • If offered a loan from a lender, it would cause significant financial hardship.

The chief executive of Kāinga Ora also has the discretion to grant loans.

The Scheme is limited to units:

  • purchased before 1 July 2017; and
  • within a building in an area of high seismic risk, which is two or more storeys in height and contains three or more household units (or is a household unit within a mixed use building); and
  • within a building subject to a territorial authority-issued EPB notice.

You can read the full criteria for the Residential Earthquake-prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme and apply here: https://kaingaora.govt.nz/working-with-us/residential-earthquake-prone-building-financial-assistance-scheme/