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EQC Receives Nearly 6,000 Applications For On-solds Support Package

The Earthquake Commission (EQC) received nearly 6,000 applications from Canterbury homeowners for the Government’s On-solds support package, with more than half arriving in the month before the 14 October 2020 deadline.

EQC is now working through a process with the homeowners to review their eligibility.

EQC Head of On-solds, Pip Andrews, says EQC has written to all applicants requesting documents to verify their eligibility before 14 December, such as sale and purchase agreements and pre-purchase building reports.

“We’re fast approaching two months since applications closed and have requested this information from homeowners. Once we have reviewed their eligibility, each eligible homeowner will be matched with a Settlement Specialist to take them through the assessment and settlement process,” says Ms Andrews.

Administered by EQC on behalf of the Government, the $300 million On-sold support package is aimed at eligible Canterbury homeowners who bought a house before 15 August 2019 with a settled under-cap EQC claim, but have since discovered missed earthquake damage which exceeds EQC’s cap to repair.

An August mail-out by EQC to more than 44,000 Canterbury homes purchased since 2011, plus advertising on radio and in newspapers, brought in more than 3,000 applications in the final month.

“We were aware when we did a mail-out to such a significant number of people that there would be homeowners who would submit a registration of interest to make sure they have the option available to them. Our first step is working through how many of those homeowners meet the criteria to have their applications progressed,” says Ms Andrews.

At this stage just over 2,400 applications received were registration-only and EQC acknowledges these were likely made by homeowners to avoid missing the application deadline.

“Those homeowners who wanted to keep the On-solds support package available do need to act. We’ve asked them to provide eligibility information before December 14, so we can establish their eligibility, and if eligible, move towards their homes being repaired,” says Ms Andrews.

Homeowners who have submitted eligibility information can expect to hear if they are eligible within 30 working days. EQC expects the majority of applicants will be informed of their eligibility before the end of January 2021, if they provide their information in 2020.

“This will result in a lot of work kicking off for the residential building industry in Canterbury early next year. Alongside qualified and licensed building practitioners, homeowners will oversee their own repair process.

“This begins with an assessment phase to determine the earthquake damage and repairs needed for their property, before progressing to construction and repair work,” says Ms Andrews.

“We will be providing detailed information to homeowners, as well as homeowner-appointed licensed building contractors and other specialists to help them through the process.”

Homeowners can call 0800 DAMAGE or visit www.eqc.govt.nz to find out how to progress their On-sold support package application.

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