Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units

Owner-occupiers of units and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can now apply for financial support to fix their homes.

The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs.

The scheme will be delivered by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, with eligible unit owner-occupiers able to borrow up to $250,000.

Unit-owners will need to meet certain criteria to apply for a loan.


To be eligible for the loan scheme, applicants will need to:

  1. be a New Zealand Citizen or permanent resident in New Zealand; and
  2. be a unit owner-occupier.

They will need to demonstrate:

  • they cannot get finance from a lender; or
  • if offered a loan from a lender, the owner is required to sell their unit when the building is no longer earthquake prone as part of the loan condition; or
  • If offered a loan from a lender, it would cause significant financial hardship.

The chief executive of Kāinga Ora also has the discretion to grant loans.

The Scheme is limited to units:

  • purchased before 1 July 2017; and
  • within a building in an area of high seismic risk, which is two or more storeys in height and contains three or more household units (or is a household unit within a mixed use building); and
  • within a building subject to a territorial authority-issued EPB notice.

A review of the scheme is proposed in 12 months following the launch, along with an analysis of take-up (loans issued) and strengthening costs.

You can read the full criteria for the Residential Earthquake-prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme and apply here