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Christchurch housing response 'woeful' - Brownlee

Thursday 14 Mar 2013 4:33 p.m.

A house in Avonside damaged by the 2011 quake

A house in Avonside damaged by the 2011 quake

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has launched an unprecedented attack on Christchurch City Council for its "woeful" response to housing problems.

He has accused the council of doing virtually nothing to fix its social housing units and suggested the official overseeing it should be replaced.

"Time and again we've had the council putting up the straw man argument that Christchurch City's EQC (Earthquake Commission) settlement for its damaged social housing hasn't been finalised," he said on Thursday.

"The fact is the Government fast-tracked $21 million from EQC in April last year so it could urgently begin repairing 280 social housing units closed by damage following the February 2011 earthquake."

Mr Brownlee says that since then the council has "meandered its way through the damage assessment process" and by mid-February had fixed just six units.

He has identified Yani Johanson, the council's community, recreation and culture committee chairman who is responsible for overseeing social housing as the main culprit.

"Councillor Johanson said speeding up the repair and re-letting of these properties would be his priority but the numbers speak for themselves," he said.

"Perhaps it's time someone with a bit of can-do attitude relieved councillor Johanson of this burden."

NZN

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