Widespread support vital
GRANTHAM Community Recovery committee members have expressed concerns about the eligibility criteria for the disaster- affected people applying for relief funds.
The committee has sent a letter to the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal, claiming the criteria for eligibility needs to be widened and those that have lost investment properties where the income of the property made up their living expenses, should be allowed to make a claim from the fund.
Grantham Community Recovery member, Kerian McNamara, owned a rental house which was completely destroyed in the flood.
“The way the criteria stands at the moment, (it) is discrimination,” he said.
“There are people who lived in their houses and they will get assistance and another group of people who may or may not get insurance who are relying on the fund and there are also people who may have lost their investments and their incomes in this disaster.
“This group of people might subsequently lose their homes as a result.”
Mr McNamara said the committee wanted to make it clear it wasn't only Grantham residents suffering from the aftermath of the flood.
“There is still hundreds of millions in the fund not yet distributed and it should be given with everyone's interests being taken into account,” he said.
“We have people in a situation where they have a property, a mortgage and are flood affected.
“When your income is the money you get renting the house, what can you do?
“Round one and two, fine, but now we are at the stage where we have to look at this issue.
“I know people who have lost their businesses and their livelihoods through this event.
“The people who made donations to the fund are from all walks of life and didn't give the money with strings attached.”