By Amy Williams of RNZ
Auckland Council’s emergency relief fund was vastly oversubscribed, with more than $16 million in requests for help unmet.
After the Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding, close to $4m was raised for the fund from central government, the city council and public donations.
But hundreds of applications for the fund tallied up to $20m - significantly more than the money raised and paid out.
One Mt Roskill homeowner RNZ spoke to said it was a “slap in the face” to receive $200 when she had applied for a few months’ of utility bills to be covered, given she could not live in her house.
A council report, due to be presented at tomorrow’s governing body meeting, shows support was most requested for bedding, food, home appliances and furniture.
The report said around 30 per cent of the applications came from South and Southeast Auckland, and a quarter were from West Auckland.
“Unmet need continues to be a concern. Financial mentors and budgeting services are reporting an increase in need from impacted households, often related to essential items including food and warm clothing,” it said.
“As temporary accommodation payments from insurance companies are coming to an end, financial difficulties will become more acute for some households, faced with paying rent at the same time as they pay mortgages on their uninhabitable homes.”
The report said a recent survey of residents in Muriwai, Piha and Karekare found a third of respondents will be forced to foreclose on their mortgage, on their current financial trajectory.
“Half of these expect to foreclose before Christmas this year, the remainder within 12 months.”
It said the Community and Social Recovery programme, in the Recovery Office, was coordinating support for storm-affected residents, including support with housing, psychosocial and wellbeing, financial assistance, and initiatives to support community-led recovery.