Quake-hit farmers face winter in damaged homes

8:16 pm on 23 March 2017

Quake-hit farmers with damaged homes urgently need suitable accommodation before winter, a group supporting them says.

North Canterbury Rural Support Trust spokesperson Sarah Barr said about 20 farming families were applying to buy temporary housing units from the government.

The units, which were no longer needed in Christchurch, could be bought for $25,000 excluding relocation costs of about $30,000.

Ms Barr said a handful of farmers were living in caravans. Others had decided to stay in their quake-damaged homes while they waited for repairs. Most were around Waiau and Kaikōura. A few were in Marlborough.

They needed suitable accommodation for winter, she said.

"When the quake happened in November, the one sort of saving grace for a lot of them [farmers] was sort of thinking 'well, we have got summer [to sort things out]'.

"We are now in March and they don't have the luxury of time anymore, so it's urgent now and I guess the urgency is perhaps driving some other creative thinking around what their solutions might be."

Ms Barr said many families needed to live on the farm to keep their business running, so they could not move elsewhere while repairs were carried out.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said some of those registered for the temporary housing offer were still in the process of verifying their eligibility.

It said the units would be transported as soon as site suitability was confirmed and individual sales were finalised.

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