Affordable homes plan to tackle rising rents

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 11:39 27/02/2014
Vicki Buck
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ
Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck

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Up to $2 million will be spent by the Christchurch City Council relocating as many as 10 red-zone homes onto council-owned land.

The Christchurch City Council offer follows an announcement this morning that the council would join forces with the Government to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Christchurch.

This morning, councillors agreed to help boost housing supply by spending up to $2m from its Social Housing Fund relocating up to 10 red-zoned houses as part of a pilot relocation programme.

Applauding the move, Cr Yani Johanson said it was long overdue: "It has been absolutely upsetting to see so many properties that could be lived in, that could be recycled . . . destroyed.''

NEW ENTITY TO TACKLE HOUSING

The city council and the government are joining forces to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Christchurch.

Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck announced this morning the council and the Government planned on forming a new entity to drive the provision of affordable housing in the city as part of a new housing accord.

She told councillors a full report on the proposed new entity would come to them in mid-March but it was planned the new entity would work with the private sector to increase the supply of affordable, innovative housing in the city.

Buck said the housing problem in Christchurch was "massive'', with about 11,000 fewer houses in the city than there weas before the quakes, and it required a big solution.

Rising rents had created a new class of poor and stories abounded of kids living in substandard housing, people long-term couch-surfing and new arrivals into the city struggling to find affordable accommodation.

The situation was only going to get worse as official projections showed the demand for housing was set to increase over the next two to three years.

"Doing nothing about affordable housing . . . is not an option for this council,'' Buck said.

As affordable housing was a new activity for the council it would need to consult with the public about its plans and this would happen in the next month or so.

 

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