Family still fighting to fix Cyclone Marcia housing hell
WHEN Andrea Evans and Cameron Huff signed the contract on their first home in 2008, they believed it was where they would watch their family grow.
Their dream was shattered when Cyclone Marcia struck.
With major damage to their Park Avenue home, the family moved into temporary accommodation organised through their insurer Youi.
Nearly two years on and although they're now living back at home, Andrea said the work was far from complete and the emotional trauma ongoing.
While the family was able to move into temporary accommodation subsidised by Youi, Andrea said they had to pay upfront and wait weeks to get refunds from the insurance company.
She said this, plus mortgage payments meant almost all their income was spent on accommodation.
Youi paid out their contents claim in December 2015 and confirmed a builder had been selected for the house repairs.
Work started in May, despite the family signing the contract and paying the excess in January.
In June, the Andrea and Cameron were told they could move back in with their two sons, as long as they could handle some building work being finished off.
Andrea said they agreed after being told work would be finished within a month.
But roughly seven months on, the house still isn't up to standard and work is ongoing.
"It's been a trauma and quite a big upheaval for our family," Andrea said.
It was more than just a loss of a house for Andrea, who had to close her at-home hairdressing business as well.
As they lived in temporary accommodation, Andrea tried to keep the business going by renting shop space.
She soon found the venture wasn't going to be financially viable.
"It was just too much," Andrea said.
"Trying to recover from the loss of the house, fight the insurance company, trying to keep the bills up.
"Everything just became a burden and I had to close my shop."
During this time, Andrea and Cameron also found out their three-year-old, Finn, was autistic.
It was yet another blow for the young family trying to get back on their feet.
"We're still a family, we're still whole but the home we knew is no longer ours," Andrea said. "It's been a very nasty ride and I don't think anybody should have had to go through this."
Throughout their struggles with their insurer Andrea and Cameron enlisted the help of David Keane from Solve My Claim, who said he would be getting the Queensland Building and Construction Commission involved in the case.
In response to The Morning Bulletin's enquiry about the case, Trevor Devitt from Youi said the company was committed to finalising the claim.
"Firstly, I acknowledge the difficulties Andrea and Cameron have experienced and offer a sincere apology," he said. "The claim has been protracted however we are committed to finalise the remaining aspects which entail additional building work and clean up.
"All completed building work is in line with the engineer's specification and compliant.
"We have agreed with Solve My Claim's request for the QBCC to become involved and inspect the building work; regrettably this has introduced a delay and as soon as Solve My Claim arranges the appointment we can wrap up and deal with the remaining issues."