191 inner-city homes from Christchurch Housing Accord

  • Nick Smith
Building and Housing

The Government has signed agreements with Fletcher Living for the construction of 191 new homes at two inner-city sites as part of the Housing Accord with the Christchurch City Council, Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“Fletcher Living has developed modest, innovative designs for the sites that make good use of the space and will deliver the type of homes that people will want to live in. The sites at Welles Street and Colombo Street were previously owned by the Christchurch City Council, and have been purchased by the Government at fair market value. The on-sale to Fletcher Living as part of the development agreement enables the Government to facilitate new housing while minimising the cost to the taxpayer,” Dr Smith says.

“The Government’s objective with the Council is to facilitate more housing in the central city, to encourage innovative design while also ensuring the new apartments and townhouses are affordable. Twenty per cent, or 38 of the new homes must be priced at or below $450,000. This price limit is set to coincide with the Government’s new KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme that provides grants of up to $20,000 to help first home buyers to put together a deposit a new home.

“The Government’s response to the loss of 10,500 homes munted in the Christchurch earthquakes could best be described as a rolling maul. There was never a silver bullet that would solve the problem and instead we have taken a step-by-step approach, always looking out for what to do next. These initiatives have included:

  • Establishment of the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS);
  • Temporary accommodation financial assistance of over $49 million;
  • 27,000 emergency repairs on Housing New Zealand homes and its Repair 5000 programme;
  • 858 new social houses from community housing providers and Housing New Zealand;
  • Crown Manager intervention in Christchurch City Council’s building consent services;
  • Provision of four temporary accommodation villages;
  • Workers’ accommodation partnership;
  • Government support of AMI Insurance;
  • Additional support for emergency housing; and
  • Christchurch Housing Fund for joint housing developments between council and Government.

“The developments at Welles, Colombo and Awatea are initiatives the Government is progressing with the Christchurch City Council under the Housing Accord signed last September. We are also working with the Council on a development at Riccarton Racecourse. These four developments will provide over 1000 new homes to Christchurch.

“I am confident we are getting on top of Christchurch’s housing challenge, with 10,847 consents issued since the earthquake and rents and house prices rising by zero per cent and three per cent, respectively, over the past year. These additional homes will help the Government’s goal of having Christchurch’s housing market back in balance by 2018,” Dr Smith concluded.