Nelson mayor Aldo Miccio says 56 homes in the city are still off limits to residents following December's damaging floods in the Nelson and Tasman regions.
A public meeting to discuss Nelson's recovery was held in the city on Wednesday, attended by about 80 residents of damaged homes, local mayors and Civil Defence and Earthquake Commission (EQC) representatives.
Mr Miccio says about 100 homes were initially declared unfit for living in, but that number has been falling as the Commission carries out geo-technical assessments of damaged properties.
He says he is confident more residents will be able to return to their homes as the assessments continue over the next two months.
However Mr Miccio says a number of houses in Tahunanui may need to be abandoned.
A resident of Rocks Road, Brett Daniell-Smith, says while upset residents were assured EQC is making progress, some were unhappy it could take two months before their properties are assessed.
Mr Daniell-Smith says he is philosophical about the delay, as a small country like New Zealand does not have the resources to confront all the disasters that have struck in the last 12 months.
Nelson MP Nick Smith says 854 claims have been lodged with the Earthquake Commission, which still has a lot of geo-technical work to do assessing the many properties that experienced slips, but he is satisfied with its progress.