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Temporary homes will be moved on to the Whakatāne Holiday Park and next to flood-damaged homes while properties in the Edgecumbe area are repaired, Lead Minister for Edgecumbe Anne Tolley and Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith said today.

The Ministers visited the holiday park to see the region’s recovery first-hand, and visit the site where a number of temporary homes will be built to increase accommodation options in the area.

“More than 250 homes were damaged when the Rangitāiki River broke its banks last month. MBIE’s Temporary Accommodation Service has had more than 90 registrations from people with damaged homes who need support to find temporary accommodation,” Mrs Tolley says.

“The Government remains committed to ensuring that locals have the support they need to get back on their feet as soon as possible.

“We’ve provided $500,000 of Enhanced Taskforce Green funding to employ people to assist the Council with the clean-up, and the first work crews got under way this week.

“Over 2800 Civil Defence payments, totalling more than $722,000, have been made to help people with food, clothing and bedding, and there’s also been over 230 other emergency related payments, totalling about $41,000.”

Dr Smith says: “The temporary housing to be built on Whakatāne Holiday Park and, where suitable, adjacent to flood-damaged homes will enable people to stay connected to their community while their homes are repaired. These are to complement the other housing options available through the private market, including holiday accommodation and social housing. The total initiative will include about 30 temporary homes.

“These solutions have proved very effective in supporting the recovery in the Christchurch and Kāikoura earthquakes and are an appropriate response to the difficulties faced by Edgecumbe flood victims. The first homes arrived this week and we are working with the Council to have the temporary village operational next month.

“These temporary accommodation options have been developed in partnership with the Whakatāne District Council, with the costs being shared. Households registered with the service will be able to access these homes while their own is repaired.”

Mrs Tolley and Dr Smith also visited a property in one of Edgecumbe’s most flood-affected streets, Rata Avenue, where the first portable unit was recently delivered and installed by the service.

“This is the first of a number of portable homes to be made available to homeowners who wish to stay on their own land. They will be connected to existing services where possible,” Dr Smith says.

Households affected by flooding who need support to find temporary accommodation should register at www.temporaryaccommodation.mbie.govt.nz or call 0800 779 997 to discuss your requirements.

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