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State Housing Available For Those in Need

3 August 2012

State Housing Available For Those in Need

Housing New Zealand is encouraging anyone who is in need of housing in Canterbury and thinks they may be eligible for a state house to contact its Customer Services Centre on 0800 801 601.

The Customer Services Centre is able to respond to housing applications from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday. The best time to call is in the afternoons when the Centre is less busy. Calls are toll free even from a mobile.

“We have a waiting list for Canterbury houses but if a person has an urgent need and fulfils the criteria for a state house we can often act quickly to accommodate them,” Housing New Zealand’s Southern Tenancy Services Manager Symon Leggett said.

“We know that there are people living in substandard housing in Canterbury but if they don’t come to us and apply for a house we have no way of assisting them. State rental properties are allocated on the basis of need not length of time on the waiting list, so some people who apply may reach the top of the list quickly,” he said.

This week, Housing New Zealand has four vacant houses that it is attempting to match with people on its waiting list. “The houses need to match the number of people that will be living in them, the requested location and sometimes a range of other personal needs. This means that while a house may be a poor fit for one tenant or family, it will work for another," Mr Leggett said.

While most of Housing New Zealand’s Canterbury houses have had some form of earthquake damage, the organisation has carried out about 27,000 repairs since September 2010 to ensure that as many as possible have remained habitable. Fast track repairs on 212 vacant damaged rental properties are also underway. These houses will be re-introduced progressively into Housing New Zealand’s letting pool, until all repairs have been completed at the end of October 2012. Work is also about to start on building between 200 and 350 new state houses in the next 18 months.

People who require temporary accommodation while their earthquake damaged home is being rebuilt or repaired can approach the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service on 0800 673 227.

ENDS

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