Source: Auckland Council
Auckland Council has agreed to provide funding to Category 2P homeowners affected by the severe weather events earlier this year, to help them make the changes needed to reduce the future risk to life at their property.
The decision to fund feasible mitigations for Category 2P properties, which are those where there are options to reduce the future risk from flooding or landslide, was one of several decisions about property risk categorisation made by Auckland Council’s Governing Body.
Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown says the decisions enable more property owners to stay in their homes and communities while minimising demolition and deconstruction waste and associated costs.
“These decisions allow for those who want to stay in their homes and fix them to do so. This acknowledges that many people are deeply connected to their homes and should be able to fix them if it is safe to do so. This also potentially saves Auckland ratepayers money. I see it as a win-win.”
Auckland Council has set the ‘feasible and affordable’ threshold for Category 2P mitigations at a cost of up to 25% of a property’s Capital Value (CV). This means if a home has a CV of one million dollars, mitigations that cost up to $250,000 are considered feasible and the home could be assigned as Category 2P. The mitigation works also need to be delivered within two years.
Deputy Group Recovery Manager, Mace Ward, says the council recognises that for many homeowners, paying for any mitigation work to protect their home from flooding or landslide is out of reach.
“There are two things we need to consider for these mitigations. Firstly, is whether intervention works are technically possible. For example, that means looking at whether there’s enough space to construct a retaining wall, or whether the nature of the house means it can actually be raised.
“The second part to feasibility is whether it’s affordable and if it can be delivered in a reasonable timeframe. Whilst anything is possible if you have enough money, we needed to put a realistic and responsible cap on what could be spent on a mitigation.”
Category 3 confirmation begins for Auckland
The first batch of confirmed property owners were informed this week of their Category 3 property status and have been invited to move into a buy-out conversation with the council.
Mr Ward says the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office is pleased to be able to start giving owners of the worst affected properties some much needed certainty.
“We understand people want certainty so they can confidently make decisions about their future and move forward with their lives. It’s been a challenge for everyone involved as there have been many pieces of the puzzle that needed to be fitted into place, such as the funding arrangements and the technical risk categorisation policy and framework.
“We now have all the details agreed with the Government along with policy settings and we’re very pleased that we can confidently move ahead with the scheme, together with affected home owners.”
Property risk assessments gathering momentum
More than 2100 home owners have voluntarily opted into the categorisation scheme. From these registrations, more than 1300 desktop assessments and 870 site visits have been completed. Around 200 low risk property owners have been identified and already been informed of their Category 1 rating.
Geotechnical and flooding assessments are provided free by the Recovery Office to help impacted residents understand future risk from extreme weather and natural events at their property. Storm-affected property owners can choose to opt-in for the process by completing an online form.
Mr Ward says the Recovery Office is focused on getting assessments completed as quickly as possible. On the geotechnical front, this includes contracting 10 geotechnical suppliers, using over 100 specialist engineers and consultants to collect data for people concerned about unstable slopes near their property.
In the meantime, a free Storm Recovery Navigation Service has been launched as a first port of call for residents affected by the storm. Navigators can help people access the information, services and support they need to plan their recovery. Another 20 community-based navigators will be added in the coming months and affected residents are encouraged to get in touch.
More information on the categorisation process can be found on the Our Auckland recovery page which will be updated regularly.