Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Rent suspended for HNZC tenants affected by earthquake

Hon Phil Heatley
Minister of Housing

27 February 2011 Media Statement

Rent suspended for HNZC tenants affected by earthquake

Housing New Zealand is to suspend the rent for about 2500 of its tenants living in those areas of Christchurch most affected by the Christchurch earthquake, Housing Minister Phil Heatley announced today.

As an immediate measure, Housing New Zealand will reduce the rent to zero of all state housing tenants in 32 suburbs. This rent relief will last for a period of three weeks, and will be backdated to February 22. It will apply to about 2500 properties, and any rent already paid by tenants in these areas since the earthquake will be repaid to them.

"More than 18,000 people live in Housing New Zealand’s 6000 homes in Christchurch. Many of these people are vulnerable and have limited financial means. The rent suspension Housing New Zealand has announced today will provide immediate relief to those likely to be living in the worst conditions in homes most affected by the quake," Mr Heatley said.

"This is an interim measure to give Housing New Zealand time to understand the scope of damage to its properties, and the circumstances of its tenants.
"Housing New Zealand is bringing 4WD vehicles down on the HMNZS Canterbury this weekend, and will be flying in property inspectors and tenancy managers throughout the next few weeks to visit every state home to assess the welfare of tenants, and damage to properties. Those inspections started last week.

"Tenants found to be in properties that are uninhabitable will be immediately moved to alternative accommodation.

"Tenants in properties that are inhabitable but without major services, such as power, water or sewerage or significant damage will pay only half rent after the three week relief period expires, until services are restored and damage repaired. These tenants will also be given the opportunity to move to alternative accommodation if they choose.

"Properties with services, and without major damage will return to full rent following the relief period,” Mr Heatley said.

"For those tenants outside of the worst affected areas in Christchurch, rent relief will also be offered but on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances of tenants and the state of properties in those areas. In all cases rent relief will be backdated to February 22,” Mr Heatley said.
"For those tenants in the areas identified below who feel they cannot remain in their home because of the earthquake, even though it may be undamaged, rent will not be charged for the period they are not in their home, provided they notify Housing New Zealand. Any other Christchurch tenant who does not feel they want to stay in their home should contact HNZC who will consider their request on a case-by-case basis.

"Housing New Zealand is doing all it can to assist its own tenants, but also to help find emergency accommodation for anyone displaced by the earthquake. To date, more than 80 people have been matched to emergency accommodation in the community, and staff are working constantly through welfare centres, phone lines and the internet to provide options to others in need," Mr Heatley said.
"At present the offers of temporary accommodation significantly exceed demand, but we expect this will change as more homes in Christchurch are inspected by the Council and short term arrangements with friends and family come to an end."

The suburbs where rent will be reduced to zero are:

Key Numbers:
• Housing New Zealand tenants with questions about rent relief, or damage to their home, or who wish to inform Housing New Zealand about their whereabouts following the earthquake, should phone 0800 801 601 or go to www.hnzc.co.nz
• Anyone needing emergency accommodation following the earthquake, or anyone offering emergency accommodation to those affected by the earthquake, should phone 0800 HELP 00, visit a welfare centre in Christchurch, or go to www.housinghelp.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news