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Opening Of New Housing Community For Christchurch

A new housing community in the Christchurch suburb of Richmond will provide 15 families on the Ministry of Social Development’s Housing Register the security of a long-term lease and affordable rental. It will be opened on December 11 by the Hon. Poto Williams, in time for tenants to move in before Christmas. Media are invited to attend the opening.

The Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) complex on Guild Street, Richmond, sits on the former Churchill Courts site, on land leased by Anglican Care. The houses were used as temporary accommodation at Linwood Park before being moved to the site in August.

CMM Executive Director Jill Hawkey says the development provides a unique opportunity for families to settle and feel secure, perhaps for the first time in their lives. “We’re really pleased to have arrived at this point and look forward to welcoming families into their new homes in the coming days.”

The site comprises 15 homes, ranging in size from two-bedroom to four-bedroom. An additional building will serve as a dedicated community house, from which a community worker will be permanently based.

The need for these properties is great. Demand for social housing in Christchurch has increased from 482 applicant households in June 2015 to 1,232 in June 2020, according to Government figures. This 156 percent increase in homelessness in Christchurch over the last five years indicates the scale of the problem and the urgent need for warm, affordable and secure housing for the city.

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Consent for the development was granted in March by the Christchurch City Council, which heard the views of nearby residents in reaching this decision. The site’s characteristics identified it as ideal for the relocatable houses, and for providing ample play space for the children of residents and off-street parking.

A large area in the north-east corner has been reserved for continued use by community gardening groups which have established vegetable gardens there. The houses are away from boundaries and the road. CMM is committed to increasing its stock of warm and affordable permanent housing to meet the city’s growing need.

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