23 Apr 2009

Christchurch social housing rent rises 14%

5:33 pm on 23 April 2009

Rents paid by social housing tenants in Christchurch will leap 14% this year, following a city council vote on Thursday.

Christchurch City Council tried to raise rents by 24% last year on the grounds that the increase was needed to pay for repair and replacement of some of its 2,600 units.

The move was revoked following a decision in the High Court, which found flaws in the process the city council followed.

On Thursday, a majority of the council voted for the 14% increase. A one-bedroom council unit has increased $12 a week, taking the rent to $105 per week.

Only one councillor, Yani Johanson, voted against the rent rise, saying it would cripple some of the social housing tenants.

But councillor Barry Corbett said it was decisions like that which had led to the dilapidated state of some of the homes and the longer the council waited, the more costly repairs would be for tenants.

Mr Corbett said some councillors have not been willing to jeopardise their popularity by voting for a rent increase.