The Christchurch City Council has voted not to raise the rent for its social-housing tenants this year.
The council has about 2650 rental units, but nearly 400 are unoccupied because of their extensive earthquake damage.
The council says tenants are living in other units that still need repairs, so on Thursday it voted to forgo a planned 3.9% rent rise.
Two councillors, Ngaire Button and Aaron Keown, voted against the move, saying the rent money should go towards future housing stock.
Mr Keown says he believes tenants had already budgeted for the rise, and the extra income from the rent rise could have paid for five new units.
But the majority of councillors agreed that tenants had had a difficult time and that freezing the rent was the right move.
The motion was carried 12 votes to two.