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Council provides rates relief to flooding victims

Council provides rates relief to flooding victims

Christchurch City Council has agreed to stop charging rates for residential properties left uninhabitable by recent flooding.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel says the Council is aware of the hardship suffered by ratepayers badly affected by the flooding in March and April.

“It was vital we did something practical to help people forced to leave homes that are too damaged to live in, especially with winter on the way.

“This 100 per cent rates remission applies to properties on the Flooding Taskforce list of vulnerable properties when repairs to make them habitable can’t proceed without further Council action to reduce the flooding risk.

“However, ratepayers who have evacuated flood-damaged homes not yet on the Task Force list can apply to the Council and staff will assess their eligibility for the rates remission.”

Under the remission programme owners will not have to pay any rates until their homes are suitable for reoccupation, says Mayor Dalziel.

“We know it has been a tough time for residents whose homes have been inundated over recent months. We hope this financial relief will go some way to helping alleviate the stress they are under.”

Shirley Papanui Ward Councillors Pauline Cotter and Ali Jones say they are pleased they pushed for the rates remission.

“From the feedback we received from residents it was clear that the financial pressure of having to move out and pay rent, as well as a mortgage, was making an already difficult situation even more difficult, says Councillor Jones.

“The effects of that stress is seen in our families, schools, communities and general health and well-being, so if we can mitigate this, we must,” says Councillor Cotter.

Key facts about flooding rates remissions

• The rates remission will be backdated to the date of the property was evacuated, but no earlier than 5 March 2014.

• Ratepayers can apply for the remission by filling out a form available on the Council website www.ccc.govt.nz, at Service Centres, or by phoning the Call Centre on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169

Eligibility criteria:

• The residential or non-rateable property is uninhabitable due to flood damage; and

• the property is on the Flood Taskforce list of vulnerable properties or is confirmed as eligible by a qualified Council manager; and

• repairs to make the property habitable are reliant on further Council action to reduce the flooding risk. i.e. property owners are unable to undertake independent remedial work.

• Council staff may need to check eligibility by visiting properties not already on the Flood Task Force list.

• The remission is not available for properties where repairs can be done immediately and ratepayers have to move out temporarily while they are completed.

- ends -

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