Startling numbers on the Financial Assistance Package

This article from Radio New Zealand News gives revealing update on the Financial Assistance Package (FAP) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/240464/no-change-to-leaky-home-repairs-scheme.

The government devised the FAP to assist owners of leaky residential homes obtain contributions of 25% each from the local council and central government, if certain requirements were met.

According to the article, 87 leaky homes have been fixed under the FAP over the four years it has been in force. MBIE has approved plans for 364 homes and a further 3000 have been found eligible. As the article notes, this is much lower than the government’s prediction that the scheme would fix 16,450 homes.

The Building and Construction Minister, Maurice Williamson, has said that there will be no changes to the FAP, despite the low uptake, and that the low uptake does not mean the scheme has been a failure.

While any initiative that tries to quell the leaky home crisis should be welcomed, the low uptake is not surprising to us and the scheme is in need of amendment. The current process is perceived by many to be unduly complicated and fettered by too many limitations around eligibility. A simplified process would see a marked increase in the number of homeowners using the scheme in our view.

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