Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the development of a new temporary village at Rawhiti Domain to help meet increasing demand for short term rental housing.
“The government has long recognised there is a role to play in providing temporary accommodation for those who, for whatever reason, are out of their homes for a short period because of the quakes,” Mr Brownlee said.
“We set up the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) in early 2011 to help households find temporary accommodation, and we acted quickly to provide temporary accommodation by building villages in Kaiapoi and Linwood Park.”
CETAS staff work with householders to assess their accommodation needs, and match and place them with the best available housing. This includes homes in the private rental market, and in the temporary villages.
“Since April 4 last year the CETAS team has dealt with over 1800 people who’ve made inquiries about what to do about housing,” Mr Brownlee said.
“CETAS is currently working with over 300 households who require temporary accommodation, and a further 100 who have indicated they will require short term housing in the near future.”
The team has always looked to the private rental market first, and has helped more than 250 households find accommodation this way.
The two existing villages have been well utilised, with 64 families having stayed for a period and moved back into their repaired homes. The average length of stay has been 12 weeks.
“The villages are also working well for red zone residents who have accepted the government’s offer and need a temporary place to stay while their new homes are built,” Mr Brownlee said.
“Feedback from residents living in the villages has been very positive, but as the repair and rebuild programme ramps up, demand for short term rentals is rising.
“We’ve been monitoring demand at the villages and the private market, and the time has come to increase supply to reflect where that the repair and rebuild process is at.
“When we planned the first villages we purchased an inventory of similar buildings which could be rapidly relocated onto other areas if demand began to exceed supply.
“The time has come to begin utilising this resource, so today I’m announcing that over the coming weeks we will be rolling out a further 20 two bedroom units on the Rawhiti Domain in New Brighton.
"A further 43 units will be placed on that site over the following months, as the need arises.
“This will take the number of houses across Kaiapoi, Linwood Park and Rawhiti Domain to 126,” Mr Brownlee said.