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Report on housing pressures in Christchurch released

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister of Housing

4 April 2013

Report on housing pressures in Christchurch released

Today's report on the housing pressures in Christchurch shows that the city faces ongoing challenges in meeting peoples' accommodation needs that will require ongoing Government intervention and assistance, says Minister of Housing Nick Smith.

“The housing situation is challenging, as detailed in the Housing Pressures in Christchurch report released today by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. This report reinforces the need for the Government to continue to be active in the provision of temporary, social and permanent housing solutions,” Dr Smith said.

"The housing pressures are a direct result of the net loss of an estimated 11,500 homes from the earthquakes, or 6.2 percent of housing stock, as compared to a net loss of population of 9,200 or 2 percent. This pressure is driving up house prices and rents, and increasing financial pressure on families across the region."

"The housing situation in Christchurch is challenging, but not a crisis. Agencies are doing a good job of managing housing needs for people in the greatest need," said Dr Smith.

"The Government has responded to Christchurch's housing pressures by providing additional accommodation financial assistance for 2,100 households, established the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) that has assisted over 2,500 households and established three temporary accommodation villages. This is on top of the huge work programme by Housing New Zealand Corporation to fix its 5,000 damaged properties.

"We need to do more in four areas to address the challenges identified in this report. First, we need more temporary accommodation for families while their homes are being repaired, thus today's announcement of the Rangers Park development. Secondly, we need more worker accommodation. That is why the Government is currently making a request for proposals for additional worker accommodation. Thirdly, we need to make faster progress on new community social housing, which is why the Government has committed $24 million which has been complemented by $10 million from the Canterbury Community Trust. The fourth area is in speeding up the repair of Housing New Zealand Corporation's own stock."

"This report helps ensure a well-informed, ongoing response to Christchurch's housing challenges," said Dr Smith.

A copy of the Housing Pressures in Christchurch report is available at www.dbh.govt.nz/nz-housing-research.

ENDS

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