New community housing strategy for Christchurch to get more people into homes

Photo: Newsline
Photo: Newsline
A new strategy for community housing has been adopted in Christchurch.

The new Community Housing Strategy 2021-2031 replaces Christchurch City Council's former Social Housing Strategy to reflect a wider mix of housing types and financial options for people, such as assisted rentals, assisted ownership, and affordable housing.

The council received 23 submissions on the draft strategy during public consultation late last year, with most in support.

“We’re very thankful to those organisations and individuals who took the time to provide feedback,” said council principal adviser social policy Paul Cottam.

“We received many positive and constructive comments on the strategy.”

Cottam said the new strategy reflects the need to think more broadly about assisted, including social, housing in Christchurch in order to meet future demand.

“While the council already has significant investment in its social housing, further investment is needed to maintain this over the long term, and further development is needed to meet the growing demand for other forms of assisted housing in our communities.

“Additional community housing will complement and include the social housing and wrap-around services already provided by the council, the Government and other community providers.”

Research carried out for the Greater Christchurch Settlement Pattern Update has forecast a 62 per cent increase by 2048 in people needing social housing.

The research also points to 14,000 more households in Christchurch by 2048 being classified as “stressed renters” – people paying more than a third of their income in rent.

“This underlines the need for the council to be considering a broader approach for providing secure, affordable housing for residents who need it, both rented and owned,” said Cottam.

Since the earthquakes the council says it has repaired 1170 of its social housing units, and nearly all of its housing has had work to meet the new Healthy Homes Standards.