ICW has continued to lobby our local MP, also now Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson, for action on financial assistance mechanisms for those facing mandatory strengthening of earthquake prone buildings.
These include a lender of last resort mechanism for those owners who cannot access funding through retail channels and for tax deductions/tax credits to recognise the financial burden being faced by private owners, who can finance the costs, for a public good.
WCC has recently agreed to investigate a targeted rate mechanism against properties where current owners cannot fund the cost of strengthening, with a report back by December 2017. This would enable owners to access money at the lower rate that councils can access and allow strengthening projects to continue. WCC has also agreed to provide programme management assistance by sourcing contractors, engineers and project management for building owners on an open book basis.