Greater flexibility for earthquake fund
Wednesday 21 February 2018
Further changes have been made to the government’s unreinforced masonry securing fund (URM Fund) which assists earthquake proofing work.
Buildings that are three storeys or more are now classified as large and complex buildings and these buildings need more remedial securing work than smaller buildings.
If a building fits the new definition the owner can now apply to receive up to $65,000 for securing work. This is an increase from the previous funding cap of $25,000.
Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says the changes are in direct response to feedback from councils and building owners in the affected areas of Wellington, Hutt City, Blenheim and Hurunui.
“We recognise the fact that owners of large and complex buildings have greater costs, and are responding to this need.
“The more flexible nature of the URM fund will provide certainty for building owners with large and complex buildings and help them to find the best and fastest solutions to securing their buildings.”
These changes will support building owners to complete important securing work to reduce risks to public safety in the event of another significant earthquake in the region, the minister adds.
The funding cap for buildings of two storeys or under remains set at $25,000.
Salesa also announced changes to the initiative before Christmas but the latest changes are in addition to those.
In March, Cabinet is expected to decide on the proposed changes to legislation required to extend the time building owners have to comply before penalties are applied.
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