Govt pledge 180 'affordable' homes in Chch

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 12:11 16/04/2014
Lianne Dalziel
Daniel Tobin
IN IT TOGETHER: Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said the "acute shortage of affordable housing" could only be solved by the council and Government working together.

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The Government has pledged to develop 180 new homes in Christchurch, as part of a housing accord to boost the number of affordable properties in the city.

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel announced the accord with Housing Minister Nick Smith today on the old Sydenham School site - the location of the new development.

Two villages with 180 homes would be built on Christchurch City Council-owned land on the Colombo St site. 

However, the proposal still needs to be adopted by the full council, based on the outcome of public consultation on the council's role in providing affordable housing.

The announcement comes after months of discussions between the council and the Crown about an accord.

The accord would also establish a "joint housing steering group", to report monthly on progress of the residential building in the city and any areas of concern around the Land Use Recovery Plan (LURP).

Dalziel said the "acute shortage of affordable housing" could only be solved by the council and Government working together.

 "Housing is one of this council's top priorities. From our perspective, it is not acceptable to have families living in garages because that is their only option.

"The accord is a very significant in that it acknowledges the seriousness of the current housing shortage in the city and proposes a way forward."

The Government would now invest $75 million through a new housing accord fund, and the council would invest $50 million in a new housing entity to encourage private investment. 

The proposed new housing entity would secure the "sustainability" of the council's involvement in social housing, Dalziel said. 

"The new entity will have the status of a registered community housing provider and have access to the Government's income-related rent subsidy for eligible tenants. 

"Most of our tenants will be better off."

The council would also need to decide whether to formally request Christchurch City Holdings (CCHL) provide $50 million over three years for the investment in the new housing entity.

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