25 Oct 2013

Housing first priority for new council

8:48 am on 25 October 2013

The newly elected Christchurch City Council is wasting no time getting down to business with housing affordability shaping up to be a major focus.

The issue was to the fore on Thursday evening as councillors and the new mayor were sworn in at the Civic Chambers.

The council is the second largest owner of social housing in New Zealand after Housing New Zealand.

One of the councillors to raise the issue in his maiden speech, Phil Clearwater, says bringing the largely earthquake damaged stock back into circulation will be a top priority.

He says that may involve building new homes to replace council housing that was in a sorry state even before the earthquakes.

Mr Clearwater says the first step in addressing the housing crisis will be pulling together all the available information about just how bad the problem is.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel also wants to see the housing issue addressed and says it may involve the city council working with central government and charitable groups.