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Let’s Find & Fix – a community-led initiative

Let’s Find & Fix – a community-led initiative

6 April 2014

Winter is coming, and the race is on to patch up cold, unsafe and unsanitary Christchurch homes.

CanCERN in partnership with various agencies and companies has launched a campaign called Let’s Find & Fix that will enable people to have approved temporary work done, at no cost to them, without it impacting their final settlement or temporary accommodation allowance.

“As earthquake-related repairs and rebuilds continue, the community-led collective is concerned that there may be people who will face another winter in cold, damp, unhealthy homes,” says Canterbury Communities’ Earthquake Recovery Network spokesperson Leanne Curtis.

“This campaign is about finding those people and providing temporary fixes to get them through the winter months,” she says.

Previously the cost of temporary repairs may have been deducted off a property owner’s temporary accommodation allowance or counted as part of their final settlement for earthquake damages but under the Let’s Find & Fix programme that won’t be the case for approved repairs.

“Removing these barriers is important because if the home has a problem and the potential to make people unwell or feel unsafe then we have to find a common sense way of dealing with the issue until the home can be permanently fixed,” she says.

A range of agencies, including CERA, Christchurch City Council, insurers and claims management companies, EQC, Community Energy Action, Red Cross and Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust are supporting the community initiative.

Between them they are covering the costs of the temporary repairs and those associated with running the campaign.

The type of the damage from the earthquakes will include:

• Holes in external walls, the roof or floor, or where residents still have gaps in their homes covered in plastic.
• Problems with drainage where the toilet backs up, or there is raw sewerage/waste water or polluted liquefaction lying on the property
• External winds and doors that do not open, shut or lock property.

“We’ve heard of an elderly woman who sleeps with a hammer under her bed because her door doesn’t lock. Everyone has the right to security regardless of their earthquake damage, and come winter there shouldn’t be a single person in that sort of position, says Leanne Curtis.”

“We don’t know how many residents fall into this category, but our early estimate is that there will be hundreds of households. The key message we want to get across is that if you have this kind of issue in your home or you know of someone who does, get in touch with us and we will make the temporary fix happen,” she says.

Red Cross staff are currently visiting houses throughout the city as part of the Let’s Find and Fix Campaign. If the resident is not home, the callers are leaving a card inviting residents to call 0800 233551 for help. Householders are also being provided with information about appropriate services and support available.

Let's Find and Fix partners and supporters are as follows:
• Christchurch City Council
• Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority
• Earthquake Commission
• Insurance Council New Zealand
• New Zealand Red Cross
• Community Energy Action
• Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust
• Tindall Foundation
• IAG
• Southern Response
• Tower
• Lumley
• AA Insurance
• VERO
• FMG Advice and Insurance
• Medical Assurance Society
• ACS Claims Service

Background
Let’s Find & Fix is an initiative led by the community and aimed at finding and providing temporary fixes to earthquake damaged houses that are not weather tight, safe or sanitary before winter. The campaign is being led by CanCERN along with Red Cross and Community Energy Action in partnership with insurers, claims management companies, EQC, CERA and CCC.

Please note: claims management companies include Southern Response and ACS Claims who are managing earthquake claims for AMI and Ansvar clients respectively.

Criteria
Let’s find and Fix is aimed at finding those homes where:
• There are holes in external walls, the roof or floor, or plastic used as cladding.
• Problems with drainage where the toilet backs up, or there is raw sewerage/waste water or polluted liquefaction lying on the property.
• External windows or doors do not open, shut or lock properly.

Let’s Find
The Let’s Find & Fix involves a door knocking campaign and an 0800 number for people to call to self-identify.

The door knocking campaign begins on Wednesday 2nd April 2014 and is being led by the Red Cross. Volunteers will visit areas where the worst earthquake damage ocurred around Christchurch based on geotechnical data and information from insurers and the EQC. Door knockers will ask home owners/occupiers a series of questions to establish whether the house meets the criteria outlined above.

The 0800 number (0800 233 551) is being promoted via advertising as well as a calling card that will be left at each house that is door knocked and a brochure being distributed via mail drop to areas that will be door knocked.

All home owners (whether targeted via the door-knock or not) are asked to self-identify by calling the 0800 number if their house meets the criteria above. This is a Greater Christchurch initiative.

Please note: the 0800 number is available now but will be fully operational from Monday 7th April. Please recommend that callers try this number from the 7th onwards.

Let’s Fix
Those houses that are determined as requiring a temporary fix before winter will be contacted within 7 days by a Community Energy Action staff member to find out more about what repairs need to be done and to arrange for a contractor to visit the property.

Key Messages
• Let’s Find & Fix is a community initiative led by CanCERN, Red Cross and Community Energy Action, in partnership with insurers, claims management companies, EQC, CERA and CCC.
• The aim of Let’s Find & Fix is to identify people whose homes need temporary earthquake repairs before winter.
• Let’s Find & Fix will do approved temporary repairs to make sure houses are warm, sanitary and secure before winter.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Won’t the repair affect my insurance claim? Insurers, claims management companies and EQC are partners in this campaign. Insurers and claims management companies have agreed that any approved fixes undertaken as part of this initiative will not affect current insurance claims or temporary accommodation allowances. The EQC have agreed that if a temporary fix is undertaken the permanent repair will still occur. Feel free to contact your insurer or EQC to confirm this if you would like.

2. How long will it take to do the repair? You will be contacted within 7 days to find out more about what repairs need to be done and to arrange for a contractor to visit your property.

3. Who is paying for the repairs? A range of different funders are providing support for this initiative. Insurers, claim management companies, EQC, CERA, Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust and Canterbury Energy Action are all contributing to making houses warm, safe and sanitary before winter.

4. Why won’t they just hurry up and repair my house? The Let’s Find & Fix campaign is focused on ensuring that houses are warm, safe and sanitary before Winter. If you have any questions about the repair or rebuild of your house please contact your insurer or the EQC.

5. Who will the information be shared with? Information will be shared with the organisations that will be organising and undertaking the repair work, as well as those funding it. This may include your insurer or claims management company, EQC, the project manager and contractor or, if additional support is required, the agencies and organisations that will provide that support.

6. We have been surveyed so many times before. Why is this different? Let’s Find & Fix is a community initiative led by CanCERN, Red Cross and Community Energy Action, in partnership with insurers, claims management companies, the EQC, CERA and CCC. Let’s Find & Fix will do approved temporary repairs to make sure houses are warm, sanitary and secure before winter.

ENDS

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