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Housing NZ to provide temporary accommodation service

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Housing
24 February 2011

Housing New Zealand to provide temporary accommodation service to the people of Canterbury

Housing New Zealand will provide a temporary accommodation service to people displaced by Tuesday's earthquake in Canterbury, Housing Minister Phil Heatley said today.

This temporary accommodation service is being provided by Housing New Zealand over and above its normal business as part of the Civil Defence response, now that a National State of Emergency has been declared.

"Housing New Zealand will collate and co-ordinate offers of accommodation from around the country on behalf of the civil defence effort, and work directly with the people of Canterbury to match them to the most appropriate accommodation available for them," Mr Heatley said.

In order to do this quickly we have reutilised the HELP line and website to provide a matching service for those offering and those requiring accommodation.

"If you have accommodation you can offer, or you are looking for help with accommodation following the earthquake, please contact 0800 HELP 00 (0800 435 700) or http://www.housinghelp.govt.nz/ or go to one of the welfare centres that are being established in Christchurch. Housing New Zealand has staff within these centres who are available to help you.

"We have already received some remarkable offers of accommodation assistance from people around New Zealand and overseas. As of this morning, 1184 calls have been made to 0800 HELP 00 since the earthquake, most of them with accommodation offers. Housing New Zealand’s staff have also been putting people up in their own homes," Mr Heatley said.

"We are aware that other agencies and private business are also collating accommodation offers. Housing New Zealand will be contacting these agencies and businesses to collate and co-ordinate the offers they have received on behalf of the civil defence effort. Alternatively, they can contact us through 0800 HELP 00.

"Housing New Zealand will work with the Department of Building and Housing to make the most of work already undertaken following the September earthquake last year to identify available accommodation in the Canterbury area. The Department will continue to work on additional housing supply and accommodation options.

"A database of landlords and accommodation was in development for use in the repair and redevelopment efforts following the September quake. This will be used to good effect now," Mr Heatley said.

ENDS


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