Monday, September 12, 2011

Riverside Community Group as part of its rally

My thoughts are as follows:
“We will not accept the offers from CERA or insurance companies until:
1.      “Insurance companies honour Full Replacement policies for homes that are due for demolition in the Red Zone”. Comment: That is a contractual issue between homeowners and insurers.  The political issue, to the extent there is one, is to ensure that insurance companies are not fraudulently interpreting their contractual obligations (e.g. ‘full replacement’ v. ‘building to code’; replacement but only on existing (red-zoned) site….).  Those are probably better for the legal profession than the politicians, though if there appeared to be a pattern of behaviour emerging, them the Green Party ought to intervene.
2.       “RVs are reviewed where there is significant and demonstrable undervaluation”.
Comment: This is a Catch 22.  The RVs are the valuation.  So there cannot be an undervaluation by definition.  The stats. appear to show an area-wide reduction in market values since the ’07 RV.  So homeowners are better off than if a market offer were made.  It would be impracticable (and probably self-defeating) if individual properties and buildings were assessed individually, and subject to negotiation.  A blanket offer is the only feasible way.  Enlarged footprints are re-assessed, but internal improvements are not included (Brownlee’s apology….).
3.      “Measures are taken to improve availability and affordability or relocation options so that home-owners can move on without losing equity or increasing their debt burden.” Comment: Sections were purchased cheaply on inexpensive properties.  To require a higher pay-out so departing owners can move to better land would disadvantage those who bought on better land at higher cost. 
4.      “There is certainly and clarity about the future use of red zone lands”.  Comment: Agree.

General comment: “We will not accept the offers from CERA or insurance companies until …”  Comment: It is up to each homeowner to decide what is best in their interests, vis-à-vis CERA and insurers.  But the Green Party does not endorse demands on government (or council) that would place departing red zone individuals on more favourable terms than other residents of Chch.  A general balance of equity needs to be struck, as Chch begins the rebuild.

These are just my own thoughts.  Others may wish to comment.  Basic point is – we ought to be speaking in a general sense with one voice on these issues.

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