The city council continues to pay accommodation costs for Tauranga residents evacuated from their Bella Vista homes 36 days ago, despite giving a deadline of Thursday.

Thursday was also when some of the affected homeowners were expecting more information from the council and one of them says the goal posts are being moved.

It was revealed last month the approximate cost over a one-week period for temporary accommodation for the residents and security at The Lakes development site was $65,000.

Read more: Bella Vista heartbreak: Tauranga homeowners speak out
Bella Vista residents will be out of their homes until at least April


It is five weeks since the 21 properties were evacuated on March 9.

At a meeting with homeowners on March 22, the council said new problems had been identified and expert assessments of the affected homes were due to be completed by April 12.

At that point, the council said it was going to engage with owners on a way forward and that was also when it was going to stop paying for accommodation.

This week the council said it would make its decision next Tuesday and would continue to provide accommodation support for the residents until next Friday.

Evacuated resident Tony Mann said it was "laughable".

"The CEO said they are throwing all of their resources at this. It's a joke … just eager to hear the excuses on Tuesday night."

Another homeowner, Jenny Coffey, said it was "not good at all".

"Disappointed that we as homeowners had been aiming for answers on the 12th only to have that pushed out. The uncertainty is hard for us all ... yes, we are close to getting answers we are looking for, but the goal posts are being moved."

Evacuated Bella Vista homeowner Jenny Coffey. Photo / George Novak
Evacuated Bella Vista homeowner Jenny Coffey. Photo / George Novak

Kirsty Downey, general manager of the council chief executive's group, said earlier this week that a meeting with homeowners would be held next Tuesday evening.

"At that meeting we will be informing owners about the status of properties and homes, in particular whether they are deemed dangerous or not.

"We will then be holding individual owner meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week."

Downey said at the last owners' meeting on March 22, the council said technical assessments would be completed on April 12 "and a decision on the status of the properties would be made shortly after".

She said the council was going to receive all of the expert technical reports on Thursday, which included a lot of data and recommendations.

"We have advised owners that over the weekend, our legal and compliance advisor will assess the reports and provide a recommendation to council on Monday afternoon."

City councillors will then be briefed on Tuesday about the situation.

Homeowner Colin Mills said he was expecting bad news on Tuesday evening about problems with the land and houses.

He said the residents all wanted answers "about responsibility and how we got into this position".

"My expectation is they're going to give us the what, but they're not going to give us the why."

Colin Mills (standing) at a city council meeting with Bella Vista homeowners on March 22. Photo / Andrew Warner
Colin Mills (standing) at a city council meeting with Bella Vista homeowners on March 22. Photo / Andrew Warner

But that was not going to solve the issue, Mills said.

"The council has said they want to focus on solutions now and then get into the why/how did this happen. I see the solution depending on an understanding of how this came to be."

On March 22, the council said it would work with owners and residents on a case-by-case basis and may consider offering an accommodation supplement at a cost to be determined by the council.

In the meeting that day, the council informed owners that based on the expert advice it had, 19 of the 21 buildings could be issued with dangerous building notices.

If that was correct, owners and residents would not be able to reoccupy their homes for some time.

The council presented owners with three potential options it was considering.

Those were: working with owners on remediation; council buying the properties, demolishing the buildings and on-selling them to a developer; and, council undertaking its regulatory functions only.

City councillors will make the final decision as to how the council will proceed.