Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers about the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service.

What is the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service?

The Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) was set up by The Building and Housing Group (within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) and the Ministry of Social Development. CETAS offers the following help to households affected by the Canterbury earthquakes (either the September 2010, February, June or December 2011 Earthquakes):

  • Earthquake Support Coordination Service – Due to the majority of householders having been either settled, or who are close to settlement, the demand for the Coordination Service has lessened and therefore the Service was closed on 30th June 2017. There are still a range of support services available if you have an ongoing issue with your repair / rebuild of your earthquake damaged home. For Cantabrians who may still require support, please ring: 0800 777 846 - a Support Line which operates 24/7 to link you to support and information
  • Financial Assistance – Support for homeowners who have a temporary accommodation cost such as rent, board or motel stays. This assistance is only available once insurance cover for temporary accommodation costs has expired. It is not income or asset tested
  • Matching and Placement Service – Due to the easing demand and the majority of households reaching or approaching settlement, the Matching and Placement Service closed on 30 June 2018. If you need help to find temporary accommodation, we would suggest you continue your search by talking to friends, family and work colleagues, by viewing online property websites such as TradeMe www.trademe.co.nz/property and Holiday Houses www.holidayhouses.co.nz or approaching local real estate agents.

What is Temporary Accommodation Assistance (TAA)?

TAA is available for homeowners, including those in the Red Zone who have a temporary accommodation cost such as rent, board or motel stays. This assistance is only available once insurance cover for temporary accommodation costs has or is about to run out. It is not income or asset tested.

Temporary Accommodation Assistance rates of payment:

  • One person household                   $180.00
  • Two person household                   $275.00
  • Three or more person household   $330.00.

Who is eligible for the TAA?

To be eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance you must:

  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (ie not be in New Zealand unlawfully or on a temporary permit) and generally be ordinarily resident in New Zealand

Are you in the Red Zone?

Generally, to be eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance you need to:

  • have temporary accommodation costs
  • have used all your insurance coverage for temporary accommodation costs
  • be unable to live in your own home
  • be eligible for the Government Offer
  • have not yet received full settlement from the Government and/or from your insurance company and
  • intend to live in Canterbury once you have received settlement.

If you are in the other zones:

Generally, to be eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance you need to:

  • have temporary accommodation costs
  • have used all your insurance coverage for temporary accommodation costs
  • be unable to live in your own home because it is unsafe until it is rebuilt or repaired or
  • be required to leave your own home while land remediation and / or house rebuild or repairs occur and
  • intend to return to your home when the house is habitable.

If you have had flooding resulting from earthquake damaged land

Generally to be eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance, you will:

  • have temporary accommodation costs (this does not include a mortgage)
  • have used all your insurance coverage for temporary accommodation costs
  • have received an Increased Flooding Vulnerability letter from the Earthquake Commission and/or are on the Christchurch City Council (Flood Taskforce) list of flood vulnerable properties
  • be unable to live in your own home
  • be required to leave your own home while land remediation and / or house rebuild or repairs occur
  • intend to return to your home when the house is habitable.

All homeowners:

You may not be eligible for Temporary Accommodation Assistance if:

  • your house wasn’t insured when it was damaged, or
  • your insurance policy doesn’t cover temporary accommodation, or
  • your insurance company hasn’t accepted your claim, or
  • you are receiving income from the affected property (eg rent, board, etc)
  • you move into a rental property you directly or indirectly own, or have an interest in.

For any further enquiries, please contact 0800 673 227.

How long can you receive it for?

Temporary Accommodation Assistance start date

You can receive TAA from the later date of:

  • the date you ceased to occupy your damaged home
  • the date your insurance cover for temporary accommodation expired
  • the date you began to incur temporary accommodation costs
  • the commencement of the programme
  • the date you applied for TAA.

Temporary Accommodation Assistance end date

You can receive it until the earliest of:

  • the programme expiry date of 31 December 2019; or
  • the date you no longer incur temporary accommodation costs; or
  • you are able to reoccupy your home; or

for those in the Red Zone until:

  • you receive full settlement from the Government and/or your insurance company; or
  • your Government Offer expires.

Will uninsured homeowners be able to apply for TAA?

Only in exceptional circumstances. If you don't have insurance or your insurance policy doesn't cover temporary accommodation and you require financial assistance, please visit the CETAS office to discuss your circumstances.

Will TAA cover my new rent or my mortgage?

Temporary Accommodation Assistance is a contribution towards your existing and new accommodation costs and is paid at a set rate. It does not reflect your actual outgoings.

If you are experiencing hardship and would like more information about other financial assistance that you might be entitled to, you can contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or www.workandincome.govt.nz

Do I still need to pay my mortgage and insurances?

Your normal obligations to your house costs will apply.

Can I arrange my own accommodation and still get TAA?

Absolutely. If you have found alternative accommodation, you can apply for TAA without using the matching and placement service that is also offered.

What other help can I get?

If you are experiencing hardship and would like more information about other financial assistance that you might be entitled to, you can contact Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or visit: www.workandincome.govt.nz. CETAS will also be able to offer information and links to other financial assistance.

Earthquake Support Coordination Service

Due to the majority of householders having been either settled, or who are close to settlement, the demand for the earthquake Support Coordination Service has lessened and therefore the Service was closed on 30th June 2017. There are still a range of support services available if you have an ongoing issue with your repair / rebuild of your earthquake damaged home.

For Cantabrians who require support, please ring: 0800 777 846 - a Support Line which operates 24/7 to link you to support and information such as:

  • Community Connectors
  • Earthquake Counsellors
  • Breakthrough
  • Residential Advisory Service
  • Whanau Ora Navigators