24 April, 2012
Christchurch social housing solutions gather pace
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says Government initiatives will soon relieve pressure on the Christchurch rental market by bringing a large amount of new stock into the system.
“Today there are over 800 rental properties available in Canterbury, with over 700 available in Christchurch, however I recognise that finding suitable accommodation is becoming harder for some people and we’re working very hard to alleviate the pressure,” Mr Brownlee said.
Key events which will soon bring new housing supply to the market are:
- Housing New Zealand has today closed a tender to speed up repair of over 600 of its quake damaged properties, the first 115 of which will be available progressively from early June.
- The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has just agreed to pay $21 million to Christchurch City Council, its largest individual claimant, allowing the council to begin repairs to around 280 quake damaged properties in its social housing portfolio.
- The Department of Building and Housing (DBH) is making good progress toward establishment of a new temporary accommodation village at Rawhiti Domain in New Brighton, with 20 two bedroom units due to be on site by mid-July and the ability to provide further units as required.
The Government has already built 63 houses in two temporary accommodation villages at Linwood Park in Christchurch City and Kaiapoi Domain in the Waimakariri District. The Kaiapoi village is presently 77 per cent full, and the Linwood Park village is 78 per cent full.
“Those villages are working very well for residents who need a temporary place to stay while essential earthquake repairs are carried out on their homes,” Mr Brownlee said.
“We’re also helping hundreds of households access temporary accommodation with guidance and financial support through the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS), a joint venture between the Department of Building and Housing and the Ministry of Social Development.
“The Government is engaging meaningfully with the social housing sector to explore all ways possible of helping vulnerable Cantabrians.
“Last week CERA hosted a meeting of 40 representatives of social housing agencies engaged to work on short and medium term solutions to increasing the rental housing supply in Christchurch.
“I’m pleased the Government is working as a whole, and with non-government social housing agencies, to ensure we will have the housing stock required to accommodate those who need it.
“As the recovery has gathered momentum and more homes have been repaired the rental market has tightened, but I’m confident this new wave of housing supply will alleviate those pressures,” Mr Brownlee said.