Funding boost for Wellington’s earthquake prone buildings

13 September 2019

Criteria and eligibility for a $1 million fund to help Wellington’s earthquake prone building owners has been approved by Wellington City Council.

Generic image of Wellington City

Funding will be split between the existing Built Heritage Incentive Fund (BHIF) and the newly established Building Resilience Fund (BRF), with decisions on funding made via Council’s Grants Subcommittee and allocated as part of the Council’s 2019/20 Annual Plan.

The purpose of the two funds is to direct funding to buildings where successful heritage and resilience outcomes would be unlikely without Council assistance. The eligibility criteria are structured to direct funding to less well-resourced building owners.

The BHIF, established in 2005, will continue to provide funding for heritage buildings, with 85% of funding directed towards seismic related works, and the remaining 15% for conservation projects. In the last five years, 20 heritage buildings which have been removed from the earthquake prone building list have received close to $1 million from the fund.

The BRF is targeted at non-heritage buildings which are earthquake prone, or have the potential to be, and that have complex ownership arrangements such as a body corporates, or are small one to two storey buildings. The fund is to allow for detailed seismic assessments ahead of strengthening.

Grants Subcommittee Chair, Councillor Sarah Free, says the two funds aim to boost the strengthening of heritage and non-heritage buildings in the city, and welcomed the BHIF’s targeted focus.

“Not only will Council funding more effectively target building owners who are least able to pay for strengthening, but we can ensure a wider range of owners can preserve their heritage buildings.

“We all know there’s a significant need in our city for building strengthening work, and to help manage the limited funds available we’ve targeted funding to those who might otherwise struggle to get this work done.

“The whole city benefits from retaining and strengthening our buildings, and the Council is pleased to be able to direct more funding and practical support to owners of small buildings.”