I never thought I'd say this but right now I want to hug Gerry Brownlee.
The much-anticipated announcement about government assistance for us earthquake refugees has been the best news I've had in quite a while...
The basics are this: those of us who have already exhausted our insurance policy entitlements for rental assistance can get help from the govt, of set (non means-tested) weekly amounts depending on the number of people in the household. There will also be assistance available for those looking for temporary accommodation.
A big thumbs up for this proposal... we were lucky in that we managed to find a place to rent that was in our neighbourhood and in our budget range. However, I can sense a reluctance in the marketplace when dealing people like us, who can say with certainty that we won't be there forever but cannot say if that will be closer to 1 or 4 years. We're nomads, constantly focused elsewhere and not really enjoying this turn of events in our lives. At least with this help from the government, we may just be able to claw our way back up into the black sometime in the near future.
From someone who was truly this >< close to parking a couple of caravans onsite and shivering through a southern winter, the fact that I have a nearby house and some help with the rent will make all the difference in the world to my mental & physical health over the coming months.
So thank you Gerry and John and all the rest of you in Wellyburg. I may not have voted for you and I seriously question the scope of the powers you have under the new Canterbury earthquake response legislation, but I sincerely appreciate this financial assistance. This is not a normal insurance event - it has gone beyond the scope of what responsible people are able to protect themselves against with standard-issue insurance policies.
The September earthquake kinda ruined 2010 for a lot of us round these parts... this rental payment will go some way to ensuring it doesn't also ruin 2011 and beyond.