6 Jun 2015

Housing NZ may not meet quake rebuild target

6:39 am on 6 June 2015

Housing New Zealand says it may not reach its target to rebuild its Christchurch housing stock by the end of the year.

Quake damage has left Christchurch with a chronic housing shortage.

Quake damage has left Christchurch with a chronic housing shortage. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

In 2013 the social housing provider announced the plan to rebuild their state housing stock by the end of 2015 at a cost of $170 million.

But now it says the project may not be complete until early next year.

Housing New Zealand earthquake recovery programme general manager Paul Commons said the target to finish by the end of 2015 was still in place, but unexpected variables could delay some homes being complete.

"They are all under contract to be complete by the end of the year, but bad weather, flooding or consent issues could push some into next year."

Mr Commons said at the end of May 191 homes had been completed and another 50 would be finished in June.

"It's not as simple as building houses, you have to check the land, get consents, make sure there is the correct infrastructure before you even start."

"I understand people think being half way through the year we would be half way through the rebuilds, but completion comes in waves, we always expected most houses to be finished in the later months of the year."

Mr Commons remains optimistic the target will be met.

"The target was set on the needs of families to have homes so we are working as hard as we can to get new homes built, we know people are struggling."

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said Housing New Zealand was doing a good job considering the circumstances.

"This is a massive programme, 5000 homes required repair following the earthquakes and on top of that up to 700 new homes have to be rebuilt."

The minister said Housing New Zealand was spending $1 million a day and had contracted about 1000 workers for the repair and rebuild job.

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