Social housing  |  28 Jan 2021

Christchurch City Council has adopted a new strategy for community housing in the city following public feedback.

The new Community Housing Strategy 2021-2031 replaces the 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, generally in strong support.

“We’re very thankful to those organisations and individuals who took the time to provide feedback,” says Council Principal Advisor Social Policy Paul Cottam. “We received many positive and constructive comments on the strategy.”

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

“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,” adds Mr Cottam.

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.