Some elderly leaky-building victims have been forced to go to their families for the $200,000-plus they each need to fix their North Shore homes because they have no other options, a real estate boss says.
Paul Lochore, managing director of body corporate secretary Lochore's Real Estate at Birkenhead, said some of the owners of 17 townhouses at 13 Kaihu St, Northcote, had been forced to borrow the $230,000 to $280,000 repair costs from their families.
Many were pensioners and could not get the money any other way, he said.
Lochore's is the body corporate secretary for the owners and Lochore is upset about the situation.
Owners could not get access to the Government's Financial Assistance Package for leaky building victims because the three-level homes are older than the statutory 10 years, nor could many get bank finance because of their age and stage of life.
"The property is more than 10 years old so it's out of the limit. It has to be re-clad but not all the places leak," he said.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said the financial package was a five-year scheme to offer eligible homeowners a financial contribution towards repairing leaky homes. It began on July 23, 2011, and expired on July 23 last year. Claims after this date are not eligible for help, MBIE said.
Lochore said The Park victims had been under extreme pressure.
"Four people have sold. Others have scraped around and got the money. One sold an investment property. An 82-year-old has had to borrow from his sons. Families of the owners have contributed. I'm wild about the treatment of these people."
He and a group of victims met Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman a few weeks ago. "We had tears, we had one elderly gentleman who had his sons there and daughter-in-laws. They were having to mortgage their homes to put the money together so dad could stay in his house," Lochore said.
At the meeting, Lochore said, he suggested the Government issue bonds or no-interest loans to fund repairs, which people would repay when they sold their home.
A spokesman for Construction Minister Nick Smith said the Government has contributed $73.16m to remediating leaky homes so far, with a further $22.49m approved.
Smith had asked MBIE to explore the use of the loan guarantee scheme to assist in exceptional circumstances, both for buildings requiring earthquake strengthening under new legislation and also for people who may be struggling to raise mortgage finance for leaky home repairs.
Officials are due to report back to the minister next month on these potential extensions of the Welcome Home Loan scheme.
Lochore said specialist leaky building remediators Woodview Construction were about to fix The Park. All residents had now left and the estate was vacant.
They would need to be out for about 10 months, he said, putting even more pressure on them.
Lochore wrote a Herald opinion piece about leaky building victims in July, calling it a silent epidemic whose victims were ordinary people, who were suffering hardship and extreme stress, finding it impossible to repair their leaking and rotting places.