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More flexible unreinforced masonry fund announced

Hon Jenny Salesa
Minister for Building and Construction

MEDIA STATEMENT

Further changes have been made to the $4.5 million Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund (URM Fund) for large and complex buildings that require securing work.

“These changes to the URM fund support building owners to complete important securing work in order to reduce risks to public safety in the event of another significant earthquake in the region,” says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa.

“The more flexible nature of the URM fund will provide certainty for building owners with large and complex buildings.”

Buildings that are defined as large and complex can now apply to receive up to $65,000 for securing work. This is an increase from the previous funding cap of $25,000.

The newly created definition of large and complex buildings is, buildings that are three storeys or more. These types of buildings require more remedial work to be secured than buildings two storeys and under.

“Changes to the URM Fund are in direct response to feedback from councils and building owners in affected areas. We recognise the fact that owners of large and complex buildings have greater costs, and are responding to this need.

“The new funding cap will help building owners to find the best and fastest solutions to securing their buildings,” says Ms Salesa.

Size of URM buildings to be securedNew cap
Buildings three storeys or taller$65,000
Building two storeys or under$25,000


Building owners who were issued a notice under section 124 of the Building Act 2004 (in relation to unreinforced masonry buildings with street-facing parapets and facades) from their local council and who wish to access funding for the work can find more information at www.building.govt.nz

Notes:

This change is in addition to those announced before Christmas that includes:
• up to $25,000 to secure either a single parapet or façade, or both (instead of $10,000 for a parapet and $15,000 for a façade)
• funding for work to remove non-heritage unreinforced masonry parapets and facades
• raising the funding cap to secure large and complex unreinforced masonry buildings.
• Building owners can also apply to MBIE for funding towards the cost of an engineering assessment as soon as they receive an invoice from their engineer, rather than once all work has been completed.

Cabinet is expected to decide in early March on the proposed change to legislation required to extend the time building owners have to comply before penalties are applied.


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