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Council to fund emergency housing project with City Mission

Council to fund emergency housing project with City Mission

Christchurch City Council will help fund a collaborative project with Christchurch City Mission and the Government to address emergency housing needs in Canterbury.

The Family Emergency Accommodation Project is aimed at assisting high-priority families as they transition from temporary to more permanent homes.

The Council today agreed to commit $53,000 from its Metropolitan Discretionary Response Fund and a further $39,000 from its Social Housing Fund, to allow the City Mission, a division of Anglican Care, to establish the project. The Government has also agreed to contribute up to $100,000.

Housing Committee Chair Glenn Livingstone says the project will help to provide the City Mission, and the Christchurch families they care for, with much-needed resources.

“This project will better equip the City Mission to cater for families on benefits or low wages with children, and who are currently homeless. They may be living with relations and friends, in cars or on the street,” he says.

“Every effort will be made to help these families find more permanent housing through a close collaboration between the City Mission, the Council’s City Housing Unit, Housing New Zealand and other housing providers.”

The proposed alterations to the old City Mission building at 271 Hereford Street would provide one three-bedroom unit and two two-bedroom units for the Emergency Accommodation Project.

Families will provide their own food, pay their own expenses and be responsible for the general upkeep of the unit.

The City Mission will also require families to make regular savings, which they can then access when they leave the programme or upon finding more permanent accommodation.

Michael Gorman, Christchurch City Missioner, says the project reflects that the City Mission is adapting to changing needs as they arise in Canterbury.

“Once the Mission was seen as the domain of people on the margins of society, needing social assistance or help to deal with addiction issues,” he says. “But now we are also working with many people on low to middle incomes, who are often struggling to make the shift from temporary to more permanent housing in Christchurch, particularly since the earthquakes.

“The City Mission is able to work across very complex situations, and the Family Emergency Accommodation Project will provide support through short-term accommodation, as well as social and life-skill support. This will be aided significantly by our strong partnerships with the Council, the Government and other housing providers.”

The Council will now begin the process of securing necessary resource and building consents for the project, with a view to begin fitting out the units by October and having them operational before the end of the year.

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