More than half of households in Christchurch's red zone have given consent for the government to approach them with an offer to purchase their property, Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee says.
Of just over 5,000 homes in the red zone, 2,824 had returned consent forms by the end of July allowing the goverment to approach those households with either an offer of purchase of the entire property at its 2007 value, or to pay out for land damage, leaving the homeowner to pursue a payout on their home from their insurance company.
Brownlee said the numbers showed strong interest in the offer.
"To help people move on with their lives, the government said it will make an offer to buy their property and take over either all of the homeowner's insurance and EQC claims, or the EQC land claim only, leaving homeowners to continue to deal with their insurer about their homes," Brownlee said in a media release.
"Two weeks ago the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) wrote to those homeowners with insurance in the residential red zone asking them to complete and return a consent form by 31 July. These consent forms give the homeowners' authorisation for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and their insurance company to share information with CERA. This will allow CERA to develop the offer letters," he said.
"At the time of the announcement the government committed to writing to those homeowners with insurance in the residential red zone with an offer by mid-August. We are on track to meet that timeframe for those people who returned their consent forms on time. Homeowners can take longer to return their consent forms if they wish to seek advice, but they should bear in mind that will impact on when they receive their letter of offer."
"Our other priority since the initial announcement of the land zones has been working to reclassify the around 10,500 properties in the orange zone to either green or red," Brownlee said.
"Our first focus is on the orange zone areas of Waimakariri. We hope to be able to make some announcements around the orange zones in Waimakariri within the next three to four weeks," he said.