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Encouraging progress for Christchurch housing

Hon Dr Nick Smith

Minister of Housing

8 July 2014 Media Statement

Encouraging progress for Christchurch housing

A new Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) complex of 12 homes in central Christchurch was opened and bids sought for another 450 temporary and affordable homes on two other major Government housing initiatives, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“The opening of these 12 new two-bedroom units in Worcester Street will provide welcome additional housing in central Christchurch where we are under the most pressure for affordable social housing. The units replace part of a backpackers' hostel that was damaged by the earthquakes and has been completed four months ahead of schedule. This development is part of HNZC’s ambitious post-earthquake repair and rebuild programme involving 5000 repairs and 700 new homes in Christchurch by the end of the year,” Dr Smith says.

Dr Smith also announced today that the Government had extended a formal invitation to prospective private sector groups interested in working together on two new housing developments that will deliver a total of 450 temporary and affordable homes for Christchurch families.

“The Government and the Christchurch City Council have planned for developments on the land at Awatea and Carrs Roads in Hornby, and the land at Welles and Colombo Streets in the city. The next step is for interested groups to submit proposals for consideration. A decision will be made on the successful proposals next month. It is anticipated that construction on the two sites will begin before the end of the year.

“There is no magic solution to Christchurch’s housing challenge but this is another positive step forward. We have a wide programme of work in place through the Christchurch Housing Accord, the temporary accommodation villages, the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service, the private sector partnerships for worker accommodation, the Land Use Recovery Plan and Central City Development Plan and the intervention in Christchurch’s building consent service.

“We are seeing the pace of the residential rebuild grow month after month, with the latest building consent figures showing more consents were issued in May 2014 than any other month on record. The 360 consents issued in that month is more than three times the pre-earthquake monthly average of 110.

“There is huge momentum in Christchurch’s housing recovery with a new home build rate of 12 homes a day. We need to maintain this rate in both the public and private sector for the next two years to restore Christchurch's housing stock to pre-earthquake levels.’’

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