Permanent repair to quake-hit state homes begins

  • Phil Heatley
Housing Earthquake Recovery

Permanent repairs to more than 1500 state homes damaged in the Christchurch earthquake are about to begin, says Housing Minister Phil Heatley.

"In the eight weeks since the Canterbury quake Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) carried out urgent interim repairs to almost 2000 properties to ease the impact on tenants, and ensure homes are safe," says Mr Heatley.

In total almost 4000 state homes were damaged in the quake. Of these 24 were deemed uninhabitable, with four classified as being beyond economic repair.

"The 1500 homes that HNZC will permanently repair first are those that can be done quickly because they have less damage. Work will begin on them in the next few weeks and should be complete by March next year," Mr Heatley said.

Meanwhile, HNZC is continuing to scope the work necessary to make permanent repairs to the remaining, nearly 2500 properties with more significant damage, and is working with its insurer to get the necessary approvals.

"HNZC will do its best to complete most repairs over the next year. However this large and complex work programme is six times larger than the upgrade programme the Corporation had planned for state homes in Christchurch prior to the quake," says Mr Heatley.

"Tenants in the worst affected homes have either been moved to alternative accommodation, or been offered the opportunity to move but opted to stay, where it is safe to do so. Those without essential services, such as sewerage, have had their rent halved," he said.

"I am pleased with HNZC's progress to date. I have been very impressed with the commitment of the staff both on the ground in Christchurch and in the Corporation's head office in Wellington. There is a real will to return things back to normal in a structured way in as short a time frame as possible and I look forward to the next phase of the repair programme starting in the near future, says Mr Heatley."