People who want to stay in red zone Port Hills homes have been thrown a lifeline by Christchurch City Council.
Council members unanimously voted on Friday to consider funding rock fall protection work proposed by property owners, as an alternative to buying the land.
Earlier this year, the council and the Government agreed to evenly split the cost of buying red zone properties in the Port Hills.
Friday's decision, which affects about 20 or 30 properties, means the council will pay for rockfall protection, such as fences or bunds, if it is proved to be viable, and if owners agree to pay for ongoing costs and maintenance.
The council will fund up to half the property's value for the work.
Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker is unsure whether the Government will help with funding. He says Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee could overrule the decision.