Social housing  |  19 Oct 2020

Christchurch City Council’s Draft Community Housing Strategy is now open for public feedback.

Residents can have their say on the draft strategy until 16 November 2020.

Give your feedback on the draft Community Housing Strategy.

The Council is proposing changing its current 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.

This additional community housing would complement and include the social housing and wrap-around services already provided by the Council, the Government and other community providers.

The vision for the draft strategy is “Community housing as a cornerstone of housing in Ōtautahi Christchurch for our wellbeing”.

Council Principal Advisor Social Policy Paul Cottam says the strategy reflects the need to start thinking more broadly about assisted housing in order to meet future demand for it.

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

“That’s an extra 200 to 230 social housing units per year if we maintain the current proportion of social housing in the city.”

Mr Cottam says the research also points to 14,000 more households in Christchurch by 2048 that would be classified as “stressed renters” – people paying more than a third of their income in rent.

“This reinforces the need for the Council to consider a broader community housing approach in providing secure, affordable housing for residents who need it, both rented and owned.”

The demand for assisted housing will also be especially relevant due to the economic effects of Covid-19, Mr Cottam says.

“There’s general agreement that a slow-down in the economy disproportionally affects our most vulnerable citizens.”

Since the Canterbury earthquakes the Council has repaired 1,170 of its social housing units, and nearly all of its housing has had work to meet the new Healthy Homes Standards.

“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,” says Mr Cottam.