Christchurch City Council is today (Thursday 2 August) closing 36 units in the Brougham Village City Housing complex and all affected tenants will be offered an alternative place to live.
The closure of the 36 units in the 89-unit housing complex comes after the Council received the results of a Detailed Engineering Evaluation (DEE) assessment which shows some of the buildings have a seismic capacity of less than 34 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS). Two blocks and part of five other blocks have been assessed as between 19-22% of the NBS. Engineers have recommended the units should not be occupied.
Under the requirements of the Residential Tenancies Act (Section 59), the Council must give the 36 affected tenants seven days' notice because they are considered to be at risk in the event of future earthquakes or aftershocks.
All 36 affected tenants will be offered alternative accommodation and the Council will also offer to move tenants' belongings. It is expected tenants will move into their new homes over the coming week, before the notice period has expired. Six tenants, who live in units that are in parts of the complex that have been assessed as more than 34 percent of the NBS and are therefore fit to occupy, will be able to stay in the complex.
Community Services General Manager Michael Aitken says the Council is conscious that this will be a difficult time for people who have to leave their homes but it must ensure their safety in the event of future earthquakes or aftershocks.
"This is a distressing time for tenants but we are pleased that our staff have been able to identify that there will be other units available, which has ensured we will be able to offer all tenants an alternative place to live. We hope this will at least help to alleviate some of the disruption caused by this decision. Our staff will be working closely with tenants over the coming days to help them as much as possible while they move."
The complex underwent Level Two Rapid Assessments - visual engineering assessments of the inside and outside of a building - after the major earthquakes. At the time, units that were considered not fit to occupy were vacated. A total of 47 units in the complex were already vacant due to earthquake damage or because a decision was made not to let the units when they became vacant until the results of the DEE assessment were known.
Mr Aitken says the Council has given a clear direction that restoring social housing facilities damaged in the earthquakes is a priority.
The Council has recently received $21 million as partial settlement of its EQC claim for its City Housing facilities. As agreed with EQC, Council staff are currently reviewing information received from EQC. As this work is progressing, the Council has also prioritised repairs to its 400 units that are already closed due to the earthquakes, with work underway to assess the extent of damage and to look at repair options. Recommendations around repairs will be made to the Council's elected members for consideration.
For more information about the Council's Detailed Engineering Evaluations, which are being carried out as part of its Facilities Rebuild Plan project, visit www.ccc.govt.nz/facilitiesrebuild
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