Leaky homes assistance package recommended

The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Corporate Business Committee recommended approval to Council of the Government’s proposed financial assistance package for owners of leaky homes.

Council will consider the recommendation at its meeting on July 15.

“The Government’s proposal offers the best balance of benefits and risks for the Council and for affected homeowners in the Kāpiti Coast district,” Chief Executive Pat Dougherty, said today.

“The package offers owners some certainty about the total amount they can expect to receive, the opportunity to get on with repairing their homes fairly quickly, and avoiding legal and expert evidence costs.

“The benefits to the Kāpiti Coast District Council and its residents of adopting the proposal include a commitment from the Crown to contribute 25%. Council’s contribution is capped at 25% of the actual cost of repairs, compared to the risk in litigation of having to meet 100%.

“Other benefits include a faster solution for homeowners and reduced legal costs and stress as well as access to a Government loan guarantee for owners to support their need to borrow 50% of the cost.

“Both the Council and the Government’s contribution will have to be spent on repairs. Under the current litigation approach there’s no obligation to apply settlement funds to fix the problem.

“While Treasury and the Department of Building and Housing have made some fairly bleak forecasts for potential costs to Kāpiti Coast ratepayers of 81 claims with a potential claims exposure of $3.6million, a more realistic forecast for Kāpiti based on past experience we believe is around 34 claims with a total uninsured cost of less than $1.5million.

“That potential cost will have to be taken into account in future Annual Plan considerations,” Mr Dougherty said.