Housing New Zealand Ramps Up Full Repair Programme
The priorities for Housing New Zealand are to:
- Contract and complete the repair and rebuild programme to return Housing New Zealand’s portfolio to pre-quake state as soon as is practicably possible.
- Develop solutions to land repair and residential development on earthquake prone land
- Contribute to the Canterbury social and affordable housing pool through additional new housing stock to be built.
Housing New Zealand will do this by:
Repairing and rebuilding approximately 5000 of its earthquake damaged occupied properties within the next three years. This work will complete the recovery phase for Housing New Zealand.
Housing New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Glen Sowry said the repair and rebuild programme will include construction of up to 700 new houses to be built by December 2015.
“This is an ambitious and substantial undertaking that will make a major contribution to Canterbury’s residential earthquake recovery programme,’ he said.
‘We are now in a good position to ramp up our programme, based on the completion of 212 major repairs between July and October last year to houses that had been vacated due to severe earthquake damage. We have also just completed an investigation of 38 tenanted houses to check whether it is feasible to repair houses without having to relocate tenants.
As a result of the earthquakes, Housing New Zealand has carried out 27,000 urgent repairs on 5000 houses between September 2010 and March 2012 without moving tenants and then began concentrated repairs in July last year on houses that were vacated due to earthquake damage.’
Glen Sowry said the large scale repair and rebuild programme had to take into account the state of the land – whether it was TC2 or TC3 – and whether the houses were suitable for repair or demolition and rebuilding.
‘Our rebuild programme will replace the houses that were damaged beyond repair. (215 were in the residential red zone – 188 in Christchurch and 27 in Kaiapoi.) We have already engaged contractors to start the new construction work.
‘The trials we are conducting on TC2 and TC3 land are due for completion at the end of next month. We are making the results of the trials available to the wider construction sector and to home owners to help them make informed decisions about their own land.
It is important to recognise that this is not a sequential approach, we are running repair and investigation programmes on many fronts so that we can gain momentum and deliver at scale.’
‘Housing New Zealand has acted with speed in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes and although we are still working with our insurers like other home owners, we have brought repair work forward as we cannot wait and want we our major repair and rebuild programme completed by 2015 at the latest. We are doing everything possible to ensure our properties are repaired or rebuilt within this timeframe. We are confident that what we have already delivered means that we will maintain high construction and seismic standards.’