Parliament

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

 

Council ratification marks further progress

Council ratification marks further progress


Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today welcomed Christchurch City Council’s ratification of the Christchurch Housing Accord which will enable further housing initiatives to assist the city’s recovery.

“The housing challenge in Christchurch is huge with the loss of 13,000 homes from the earthquakes, the temporary housing requirements as a result of major repairs, as well as the extra demand from the rebuild workforce. This Accord will enable us to step up the pace of recovery by getting the Government and Council working more closely together on both temporary and permanent housing developments,” Dr Smith says.

The Christchurch Housing Accord was agreed in April this year by Dr Smith and Mayor Lianne Dalziel. It will see the Government investing $75 million through a new Christchurch Housing Accord Fund, and the Council $50 million in a new housing entity. The Accord will also facilitate an increase in affordable housing by encouraging private investment and improving the regulatory environment.

“The Government and the Council through the Housing Accord have planned for developments on land at Awatea and Carrs Road in Hornby and the land at Welles and Colombo Streets in the city, providing for up to 450 additional homes. We have received a large number of proposals in response to the formal invitation extended in July to prospective private sector groups interested in working together on these developments. The ratification of the Housing Accord will enable an announcement on the successful proposals in coming weeks, and enable construction on the two sites to begin before the end of the year,” Dr Smith says.

“The Accord will make a big difference in easing the tight pressure on Christchurch’s housing market and bring forward the date of the city’s full housing recovery. There is no magic solution to Christchurch’s housing challenge but this is another welcome step forward.

“Christchurch is leading the country in terms of new house build rates with building consent figures reaching record highs month after month. The 3776 consents issued in the year to July is a 109 per cent increase on the same period a year earlier, and is the highest number of consents issued in Christchurch in any 12-month period on record.

“I am also encouraged by the cooling of Christchurch’s rental market over the past six months. Average rents in Christchurch soared from $294 per week in September 2010 to $429 in February 2014, but have fallen slightly in the past six months to $420 per week according to the latest August data. This stabilisation in rents over the past six months follows growth in every single quarter for the preceding three years.

“The Government has a wide programme of work in place to support Christchurch’s housing recovery in addition to the Housing Accord, through the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service, the Land Use Recovery Plan and Central City Development Plan, the private sector partnerships for worker accommodation, and the $1.2 billion investment programme by Housing New Zealand to repair and redevelop its 5000 homes and build 700 new ones. Our new KiwiSaver HomeStart support package will also help 11,850 Cantabrians into their own home over the next five years. We are committed to doing everything possible to support the momentum.”

“I am increasingly confident that we are through the worst of Christchurch’s post-earthquake housing woes. We are building at a record pace, and we are seeing rent increases slow. This Accord, combined with our wider housing reforms, is going to do more than return Christchurch’s housing to its pre-earthquake levels. Christchurch’s state, council and private housing will be warmer, healthier, safer and better managed when this repair and replacement programme is complete,” Dr Smith concluded.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages