130 new units for sub­urbs

The Press - - News - Tina Law tina.law@stuff.co.nz

Five Christchurch sub­urbs will get new so­cial homes after the city coun­cil ap­proved a $30 mil­lion hous­ing trust loan.

O¯ tau­tahi Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Trust will use the money to build 130 so­cial houses and re­place 50 ex­ist­ing coun­cil units.

The first 60 new homes are likely to be ready in 2021. The 130 houses will be built in Sprey­don, Pa­panui, Rich­mond, Opawa and Sy­den­ham.

The coun­cil made pro­vi­sion for the $30m loan in the 2018-28 long-term plan ear­lier this year, but did not de­cide on the re­cip­i­ent at the time. At yes­ter­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, it con­firmed the money would go to the trust, which the coun­cil cre­ated in 2016 to man­age the day-to-day run­ning of its 2400 so­cial hous­ing units.

Ratepay­ers will not in­cur any costs re­gard­ing the loan be­cause the trust will cover all costs.

As a new or­gan­i­sa­tion with a lim­ited bal­ance sheet, the trust was not in a po­si­tion to bor­row enough money to meet the up­front costs of the de­vel­op­ment, a coun­cil re­port said.

Cr Anne Gal­loway said the coun­cil should pro­vide so­cial hous­ing be­cause the city would ben­e­fit but the 130 homes would not meet the coun­cil’s goal of an ad­di­tional 500 so­cial hous­ing units over 10 years.

Coun­cil fa­cil­i­ties, prop­erty and plan­ning head Bruce Ren­dall said last month the loan was the first step in in­creas­ing its num­ber of so­cial hous­ing units.

Cr Yani Jo­han­son called on the Govern­ment for help, say­ing it had put money into other cities, but the Christchurch coun­cil had re­ceived ‘‘noth­ing’’. Jo­han­son also wanted to con­di­tions in the loan doc­u­ment to con­trol the den­sity of the de­vel­op­ments.

Cr Glenn Liv­ing­stone said the num­ber of home­less would in­crease with­out so­cial hous­ing.

The coun­cil set up the trust so it could ac­cess ex­tra rev­enue through the Govern­ment’s In­come-Re­lated Rent Sub­sidy. As part of the agree­ment, the coun­cil de­cided to cap­i­talise the trust with $50m of so­cial hous­ing as­sets. It is trans­fer­ring own­er­ship of 350 units to the trust, in­clud­ing the site of the for­mer Brougham Vil­lage on Brougham St. The trans­fer of $29m worth of land and build­ings will be com­pleted by the end of this year.

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