Christchurch City Council announces new housing initiative

by Roxanne Libatique07 Oct 2019

The Christchurch City Council has announced a new housing initiative that will help families who are struggling to get onto the city’s property ladder.

Te Whāriki tū-ā-Rongo, which is jointly funded by the government and the city council, will provide home buyers extra money to bridge the gap between their savings and the deposit threshold required by banks and mortgage lenders.

“This is for people who can afford to make regular mortgage repayments but who may have difficulty saving for a deposit. I’m so pleased to see this get underway – it’s been a long time in the making,” said Christchurch City Councillor Vicki Buck, who instigated the initiative.

“The initiative’s name, Te Whāriki tū-ā-Rongo, means crossing the threshold to the realm of peace. In this context, it's about a family crossing a threshold of home ownership to achieve more stable and secure lives and wellbeing – which are positive social benefits for them individually and our community as a whole.”

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To be eligible for the housing initiative, applicants must have at least one household member in full-time employment and not own or rent out a home.

Those with household income at, or below, the Christchurch median of $83,000; with children; and would otherwise be unable to enter the housing market will be prioritised. Successful applicants will have up to 15 years to repay the money without interest.

Habitat for Humanity Christchurch will administer the initiative on behalf of the city council and the government.

“We expect to support approximately 50 Christchurch families to buy a home of their own over the next three years, which is a fantastic thing for these individuals and our city as a whole,” said Peter Judd, spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity Christchurch.

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