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Govt's earthquake strengthening loans not feasible for many owners

The eye-watering costs many owners of earthquake-prone buildings are facing has been acknowledged by officials.  

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A report out today by MBIE says costs may not be economically feasible for many owners, but it doesn't offer any solutions. Source: 1 NEWS

A report out today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) said it "may not be economically feasible for many owners".

After the Kaikōura quake, a national system was created for managing the country's 10,000 vulnerable buildings.

Although the Government set up a $23 million loan scheme in the 2019 Budget to help owners, so far not a single person has taken it up.

"It's a loan scheme and the interest rates are higher than the bank. It's not ideal," apartment owner Lesley Hamilton told 1 NEWS.

She is among 14 owners of an Wellington heritage apartment building facing a $10 million bill to earthquake strengthen it. 

"It's deeply upsetting and on the cusp of retirement, you know a lot of the options that I have for my future have been dashed by this.

"We can't do it with the banks, we cant do it ourselves, we just can't do it, so someone needs to help us out rather than running away from the problem, because it is a civic problem for Wellington."

The Government is now looking to review the loan scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.