This week marks one year since the residential zoning announcements in Christchurch.
The Government’s first land zoning decisions were made on 23 June last year, and the first offers were sent to red zoned residents in August. It has been a long road but I am just so glad that we live in New Zealand and have a culture that meant our government could and did make an offer. It’s just another great example of how the whole of New Zealand is behind us!
5000+ property agreements
In the past week the 5000th property owner has signed a sale and purchase agreement with the Crown, meaning 70 per cent of those in the residential red zone have chosen an offer.
Of the 5054 property owners to sign a sale and purchase agreement to date, 3956 have already concluded settlement, with a total cost to the Crown of $762 million.
Owners of red-zoned properties have until 31 March 2013 or 31 May 2013(depending where they live) to accept the offer. Further details here
Red zone offer extended to new categories
CERA has extended the residential red zone offer to include residential properties that were under construction at the time of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, and a small number of not-for-profit non-residential buildings.
This includes seventeen residential properties which had building works insurance but were unable to get land insurance at the time of the earthquake, and seven non-residential properties owned by not-for-profit organisations in the residential red zone are also covered by the extension. The organisations were able to insure their buildings but being non-residential meant they could not insure their land. Further details here
Zoning review process in place
CERA has also announced the introduction of a review process for those insured residential property owners on flat land who wish to query their land zoning.(After their zoning, Port Hills residents will get a similar option.)
An advisory group has been established to assess the requests. They will consider a variety of scenarios, including if the original zoning is inconsistent with the Cabinet classifications or there are boundary anomalies.
Around 550 people have contacted CERA over the past year to request a review of their zone status. The majority are in the green zone and wish to be zoned red, while 80 red zoned property owners are seeking re-designation to the green zone. Further details here
New Social Housing units have been announced for Canterbury
The Government will fund 25 new housing units for vulnerable people living in Christchurch. They are designed especially for the socially disadvantaged including those with disabilities, head injury and mental health issues, as well as refugees and the homeless. This will be a great relief to many people.
New research project to look at Christchurch housing situation
A new research project has just been announced by the Department of Building and Housing to look into the habitability, affordability and availability of housing in Christchurch.
This is a highly complex and challenging situation so I am pleased to see that the research project has gained unanimous support from government officials and welfare agencies in Christchurch. We need more facts to solve the problem!
The Press has reported that both Salvation Army Major Mike Allwright and the City Missioner Michael Gorman support the research to understand the reality for people out there.
Tenants Protection Association Manager Helen Gatonyi has been reported by the Press as saying she believes this is a responsible step for the department to take and hopes the researcher will work alongside and listen to the agencies which have identified the problem.
Repairs and rebuilds are underway
Over 15,000 houses have been repaired and another 35,000 are in the process and new houses and commercial buildings are being constructed all over the city.
$165m worth of infrastructural repairs are complete and another $40m is being completed every month. It seems like every street in the city is under construction, with 150 worksites and 2500 employed!
And the cordons are rolling back around the city – you can drive down both Madras and Durham Streets now.
REMINDER: Uninhabitable homes and rates relief notification
Just a reminder that confirmation that your home is still uninhabitable and therefore legitimately qualifies for continued 40% rates relief is required to be into to the Christchurch City Council by this Friday 22 June.
I’m really pleased to see that we are making progress in terms of sorting out the red zones and getting people settled into repaired or into new homes. With the new research on accommodation needs we will get a real feel for how we can keep everyone safe, warm and satisfactorily housed going forward.
And here’s a little reminder of how wonderfully staunch Cantabrians are!
This image has been doing the rounds in Melbourne after their “teensy weensy” earthquake on Monday night.
Show me more jobs like these