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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

12,000 homes in worst-damage bracket

12,000 homes in worst-damage bracket

Last updated 05:00 11/04/2011
The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has identified more than 12,000 homes in the most serious bracket of quake damage under its rapid assessment process.

The commission has all but finished the process it began a month ago, which aimed to check and categorise the damage in every home in Christchurch and Lyttelton.

The process found 12,120 properties likely to have damage exceeding the EQC's $100,000 cap. Just over 5200 of those had confirmed their insurance status.

EQC chief executive Ian Simpson said attention was now turning to full assessments of priority cases.

"[These] are a thorough and time-consuming exercise with assessors spending from between one hour and five hours in a house," he said.

"Their purpose is to work out how much will be paid following a claim for earthquake damage."

The full assessments would include those claims made before the February 22 quake but not yet checked.

More than 4000 had been done so far. Priority was being given to the most badly damaged houses and those in need of emergency repairs and heating ahead of winter.

An EQC spokesman could not confirm last night how many homes were likely to be added to the 4500 urgent cases managed by Fletcher Construction and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

A May 1 deadline had been set for repairing the urgent cases, but authorities admitted the target was ambitious.

"Fletcher, in conjunction with EECA, has so far ordered, installed or repaired about 4000 heating units as part of the emergency repair programme," Simpson said.

"These include heat pumps and different varieties of solid fuel burners.

"Orders are now being taken at a rate of more than 1000 per week. The heat pumps are being delivered about two weeks after the order, while solid fuel burners take a bit longer."

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