The Family Emergency Accommodation Project – a collaboration between the City Mission, Christchurch City Council and the Government – is aimed at helping high-priority families transition from temporary to more permanent homes.
Michael Gorman, Christchurch City Missioner, says the project has provided the Mission, and the Christchurch families it cares for, with much-needed resources.
“Increasingly, the City Mission is working with people who may be employed, but who are on low incomes with little job security. They are often struggling to make the shift from temporary to more permanent housing in Christchurch, particularly since the earthquakes.
“The Family Emergency Accommodation Project will provide support through short-term accommodation, as well as social and life-skills support where needed. This will be aided significantly by our strong partnerships with the Council, the Government and other Canterbury housing providers,” he says.
The City Mission’s old building on Hereford Street, located just across the road from its current premises, has been renovated to provide one three-bedroom unit and two two-bedroom units for the project.
Families will provide their own food, pay their own expenses and be responsible for the general upkeep of the units.
The City Mission will also require families to make regular savings, which they can access when they leave the program or upon finding more permanent accommodation.
Christchurch Deputy Mayor Vicki Buck says it is important the Council looks at all possible options to ensure everyone in Christchurch, especially children, has access to warm, safe housing.
“This project will better equip the City Mission to cater for families on benefits or low wages with children, and who are currently homeless. They may be living with relations, friends, in cars or on the street,” she says.
“Every effort will be made to help these families find more permanent housing through close collaboration between the City Mission, the Council’s Housing Unit, Housing New Zealand and other affordable housing providers.”
Last year, Christchurch City Council resolved to work with the NZ Coalition to End Homelessness, other city councils, central government and health providers to work towards addressing the growing problem of homelessness in Christchurch.