The Press

Council battling residentia­l eyesores


Encouraged by progress on its ‘‘dirty 30’’ list of derelict commercial buildings, the Christchur­ch City Council is going after residentia­l landlords it believes are holding up the city’s rebuild.

Cr Jamie Gough, chairman of the council’s developmen­t forum, has warned owners to take action before they are publicly identified.

‘‘Those slum landlords with an insurance payout that can’t be bothered getting off their chuffs and spending money to tidy their properties – they are the next ones in our crosshairs,’’ he said.

The council would release a list of problemati­c central city residentia­l sites in about two months, he said. Suburban properties could follow.

In May, the council released a list of 30 central city commercial buildings it wants action on.

The list included two councilown­ed sites, the Christ Church Cathedral, damaged office buildings, and buildings whose owners said they were working hard on repairs.

The number of properties on the list has since been knocked down to 19 – the ‘‘terrible teens’’, Gough said.

Suburban landlord Russell Forward said he no longer had properties in the central city, partly because of the state of some neighbourh­oods.

‘‘You buy a building and then you have to deal with a dive next door. It’s a deterrent. Landlords have these old workers’ cottages but they won’t spend a cent on them and they get more and more run down. Council needs to write to these people’’.

Central city landlord Jenna Dwan said she approved of action on dilapidate­d buildings and overgrown vacant land, but said the council should not force people to rebuild and repair if they were not ready.

The council has set a target of having 20,000 people living in the central city by 2025.

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