The Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) is opening the first of three new emergency houses in January.
CMM has signed a contract with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to provide emergency housing for up to one household, with this number increasing as the other two houses are made available. The individuals and families using CMM's emergency housing will either be homeless or at risk of being homeless and have a need to be supported into affordable and well-maintained accommodation.
Increasing the supply of this type of housing is in direct response to the chronic shortage of emergency housing in Christchurch and throughout NZ. Earlier this year this issue received widespread media coverage as families have been forced to stay in motels as there has been nothing else available for them. Many of these families have racked up huge amounts of debt staying in motels for months on end.
While it is positive that there will be more emergency housing available to the most vulnerable in our community, there needs to be an increase in the supply of affordable housing for the lowest income families. "Boosting emergency housing is a good thing - however the most vulnerable in our community really need a permanent place to call home rather than something that is temporary" says CMM Fundraising and Communications Manager Dave Marsh.
Families staying in CMM's emergency housing will be able to stay for up to 12 weeks while CMM works with other community housing providers and Housing NZ to find them more permanent housing. While in the housing CMM will provide wrap-around support depending on their needs.