Some Canterbury residents return to 'uninhabitable' homes

5:39 pm on 26 January 2011

Some Canterbury residents are moving back into their quake-damaged homes because they can't afford to live elsewhere.

Rob Howe's home in the Christchurch suburb of Avonside home was red-stickered after the 7.1-magnitude quake in September last year, meaning it is deemed uninhabitable and it could be years before the house is rebuilt.

He is insured but has been told it could be years before his house is rebuilt.

Mr Howe and his family have returned there, even though the foundations are in a bad state, there are cracks across the floors and the chimney has fallen in.

Most insurance policies cover the cost of temporary accommodation for about six months to a year.

Mr Howe told Nine to Noon he understands it will take time for houses to be rebuilt but says people in his situation need more information so they can make financial plans.

The chair of the Canterbury Community Earthquake Recovery Network, Tom McBrearty, agrees people are feeling the pinch.

Mr McBrearty acknowledges people want to know how long the assessments are going to take, but he says the sheer size of the job is causing the hold-up.