Wellington City Council is asking the government for money to help ease the financial burden of earthquake strengthening on building owners.
A report by Radio NZ detailed the initial findings of a new survey by the Inner City Residents Association, which shows apartment owners in Wellington could end up spending more, to make their buildings earthquake safe, than the actual value of their home. They are facing bills of between $93,000 and $805,000 to bring their home up to code – as required by law. This is despite the average QV of those units sitting only at $430,000 in September 2018.
Apartment owners said local and central government needed to do more to help – and fast.
Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett said the council was trying to help apartment owners by offering grants, and an advisory service for owners.
“We have known, of course, for many decades we are in an earthquake prone city and so there is a responsibility, just as part of owning a building, to strengthen it,” Pannett said. “In saying that, of course, we know there have been significant changes with the insurance and construction market with some of these big earthquakes we’ve had.”
Meanwhile, Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) spokesperson Anna Butler told the publication there was financial assistance available for heritage buildings through the Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme.