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Leaky buildings have been a financial disaster for affected homeowners and fixing them will cost billions of dollars, although no one knows exactly how much it will end up costing the country.

The last estimate in 2009 by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated the cost at $12.4 billion, though some believe it will be over $20billion. The report also concluded there were some 42,000 homes at risk, but others believe it is closer to 90,000.

There have been three main options for owners seeking compensation.

A Government report revealed of the 6945 claims lodged via the Weathertight Homes Tribunal, just under half (49 per cent) were discontinued, while 29 per cent have been resolved. This is a small number compared to the 42,000 to 89,000 estimates of leaky buildings.

The Government created the Financial Assistance Package, under which qualifying homeowners could get a 25 per cent Government contribution to repairs. It has appears to have had limited impact, perhaps covering claims accounting for less than 2 per cent of leaky homes, assuming 42,000 is the right figure.

Roger Levie, chief executive of homeowners' group Hobanz, estimates around only 15 per cent of leaky buildings have been "re-mediated, and it will take decades for all leaky homes to be either repaired or demolished.

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