Press Release – Cr Yani Johanson
As Chairperson of the Community, Recreation, and Culture Committee, I am committed to ensuring that our social housing units are repaired, rebuilt, and restored as a top priority of Council.Cr Yani Johanson
Christchurch City Councillor
March 14th 2013
Media Statement : Response to Minister Gerry Brownlee’s Social Housing Concerns
As Chairperson of the Community, Recreation, and Culture Committee, I am committed to ensuring that our social housing units are repaired, rebuilt, and restored as a top priority of Council.
I welcome the Minister’s concern over the lack of social housing progress in Christchurch. I have and continue to concur with his sentiment that more needs to be done quicker on housing issues across the city.
Actions taken to date include:
• requesting staff to do social housing assessments as a primary focus
• getting Council to identify its top 30 priority community projects for action (which includes social housing)
• development of a specific Social Housing Repair and Rebuild plan that is regularly reported to the Committee on a monthly basis
• changing Council’s policy of automatically closing social housing units under 34% of NBS to enabling units to be occupied where they have minor earthquake damage and are relatively safe to do so
• a specific committee workshop held last month to identify the issues with the lack of progress and seek Council staff to report back urgently on:
o increasing the repair programme from 200 to 300 units per year
o speeding up the housing repair/rebuild programme to be complete in three years instead of five
o reducing red tape barriers for assessing units for repairs, settling the insurance claims, and getting units fixed quicker
o measures to mitigate the issues around energy efficiency, weather tightness, and temporary repairs going into Winter
Of the Council’s 2649 social housing units, 2169 remain open (83%) and Council remains committed to its role as a provider of social housing.
I understand from Council staff is that 115 units have been repaired to date. (109 units repaired after vacancy, 6 units repaired after closure) and that staff have recently adopted a new approach to assessments working jointly with EQC and our insurers to get more happening sooner.
My door is always open for the Minister of Earthquake Recovery to meet and discuss any suggestions he has in regards to how we can work together dealing with the very important and significant housing issues confronting our city. The challenges ahead require strong collaboration between central government and local government.
Cr Yani Johanson
Chairperson- Community, Recreation and Culture Committee
Christchurch City Council
link to Council housing agenda for tomorrow’s meeting: