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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Campervans flop with quake homeseekers

Campervans flop with quake homeseekers

Last updated 13:58 29/04/2011
More than 350 Government-supplied campervans for displaced residents in earthquake-hit Christchurch are empty, with only one person taking up the offer.

The campervans, which have cost the Government about $1.5 million to date, were rented to provide temporary housing following the February earthquake and were parked at the Canterbury A&P showgrounds.

They have been available since April 5 at cost of $190 per week for two people, $271 for four, and $337 for six, plus power expenses.

The Department of Building and Housing today said one person has used a campervan, while others who applied for temporary accommodation found places through the private rental market.

"Putting campervans in place was necessary to provide a contingency in a national emergency situation,'' the department said.

''At the time demand was unknown but we did know that a lot of homes were very seriously damaged and potentially uninhabitable.

''It was important to have emergency accommodation in place for people if and when needed.''

The department would not be renewing leases that are due to expire at the end of April for 200 campervans.

The remaining ones would remain available while the department established longer-term portable homes to displaced people.

The first portable homes for private sites will come on stream from May. Portable homes in village sites will be available in June.

There have been over 800 inquiries to the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service, with 226 indicating they require support.


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