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Christchurch Housing Initiatives Launched

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Christchurch City Council and Housing NZ was signed today to launch three joint initiatives for the city with an emphasis on housing.

The agreement comes after lengthy discussions between the City Council and Housing NZ following a visit to Christchurch earlier this year by the Minister of Housing, Mark Gosche. The chairman of the Council's Strategy and Resources Committee and a member of the Burwood-Pegasus Community Board, Cr. David Close, said today that the project arose because of the renewed consultation between local and central government and he welcomed the trend. The Regional Manager of Housing NZ, Ian Bourke, echoed Cr. Close's sentiments by stating that the future lay in partnerships.

The two parties will pursue three initiatives in partnership. They are:

* An Aranui renewal strategy.

* An assessment of affordable housing needs in Christchurch.

* An investigation into the merits of a tenant charter.

The projects will run for a year and will place emphasis on providing environmentally friendly and affordable housing in the city for the future. The charter will set out tenant and landlord responsibilities and expectations in a clearer way so that both parties are treated in a consistent and fair way. The Aranui strategy aims to find ways to enhance the provision of more affordable housing for the community, to encourage the community to take greater pride in and ownership of their future, and to improve the environment of the district in a sustainable way. Both Cr. Close and Mr Bourke said today that determining the needs for affordable housing in Christchurch were important. As society changed so did housing needs and both the City Council and Housing NZ had to know what was wanted in the city in the coming years. They said that the agreement launched today would ensure that a holistic picture for affordable housing was established for the city. "These initiatives are all about future proofing," Cr. Close said.

Further information: Rob Dally, City Council Property Manager: 371 1500 and Ian Bourke, Housing NZ: 3712 510.


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