Financial help for those forced from homes by quake

6:45 am on 22 February 2011

The Government is offering financial assistance to people affected by the Canterbury quake who cannot live in their damaged homes.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee made the announcement in Christchurch on Friday morning.

Mr Brownlee says the weekly allowance of between $180 and $330 will be paid to homeowners whose temporary accommodation cover under their insurance scheme has run out.

He says the Government has allocated an initial budget of $26 million to pay for the allowance.

CanCERN, which represents those affected by the earthquake, says the payments will come as a huge relief to hundreds of people.

Chairperson Tom McBrearty, who is himself unable to live in his home, says the money will help ease the financial strain.

For Alastair Crawford, the announcement comes just in time, as his cover runs out in March. He says he and his family are unable to move back into their home until August 2013, and the payments are a great emotional support as well as a financial help.

People will be able to apply for the allowance from Monday.