A new partnership between the Christchurch Methodist Mission and the Christchurch City Council will provide rental housing for homeless young people and families.
The Mission's proposal to rent six houses – three for young people and three for homeless families with young children – has been accepted by the Council who has agreed to allocate $130,000 from its Social Housing Fund for this purpose. Along with the Council, CMM is working together with Youth and Cultural Development (YCD), a Christchurch based youth organisation on this initiative. CMM is renting the houses from private landlords and YCD are providing the social support to the young people as they make the transition into their new home.
The announcement of this project comes at a time in which young people and families in Christchurch are struggling to find affordable accommodation in a prohibitively high priced and competitive rental market. The Salvation Army's State of the Nation report earlier this year indicated that the current housing stock in Christchurch has recovered to almost the same number as it was pre-earthquake. However the same research found that rents in the city had risen by 20% since the earthquakes. This has forced homeless young people to live in the sand dunes at the beach and young families to seek shelter in cars or emergency accommodation.
"Everyone has a right to warm, secure and affordable housing," says Executive Director Jill Hawkey. "Post-earthquakes, rents have risen to such a level that they are simply out of reach for an increasing number of people. While this project won't solve the housing crisis that exists in Christchurch, it will mean that some of our most vulnerable young people and families will have a place to call home".