Housing Forum Dates for 2014
Housing Forum Evaluation and Meeting Dates 2014

Christchurch Housing Forum Dates  are set out below:  The forum meets every 6 weeks or thereabouts at the Oxford Tce Baptist Church Hall Cnr Oxford Tce and Madras Streets.  The presentations begin at 12.30.  Participants are invited to share a cup of tea and networking from 12.10pm to 12.30.  The forum finishes at 2pm. 

If there are any changes, these will be advertised through the mailing list and on this website.  


·        Wednesday 12th February

·        Wednesday 26th March

·        Wednesday 30th April

·        Wednesday 18th June

·        Wednesday 30th July

·        Wednesday 17th September

·        Wednesday 22nd October

·        Wednesday 3rd December 

Leonie's Story - The person behind the mouldy house story
Leonie's Story - The person behind the mouldy house story

We asked Leonie to tell us her own story about her housing conditions of the past three years... This is what she told us.
Hi, my name is Leonie and this is my story, which started a very long time ago.
“Living in a dump, I didn’t deserve it”
“The truth will come out, be revealed “
“I will say what has got to be said”
I moved into 3/95 Woodham Road on 26th March 2010 and moved out on 29th April 2013.  Woodham Road runs parallel with Linwood Avenue.  It is on the boundary line between Avonside and Linwood.  The property and house is one of the worst houses on the street, if not the worst.  The landlord a Mr Euan Anthony Godfrey of CASA Property Management, had let it go a long time ago, like 40 years ago.  It’s a Villa divided into three flats, all in the same poor condition.  I am now moved out of it, and left the neighbourhood behind.
But I couldn’t have done it by myself; I got help through Tenants Protection Association, their manager a fantastic woman called Helen Gatonyi.  She stood beside me through thick and thin, backwards and forwards, in and out of meetings with Mr Godfrey and the Tenancy Tribunal Hearings from 2010 to 2013.  She got hold of a registered master builder, and the head of the Environment Department of the Christchurch City Council, an environmental office, Mr Tony Dawson, these two people both came on separate occasions to check out the property and house.  During this time Mr Godfrey also tried to sell 95 Woodham Road.  Two male buyers showed up both of them said “Demolish it, not worth saving” why did I waste my precious time looking at this rubbish tip, dump?!
Helen assisted me to get a Council flat, which I now live in.  My life is so much better now.  With Helen and TPA’s help, none of this would be worth all the effort that I have put into it.   Fighting this war by myself,  was bloody hard, as I had no support at all until Helen came along, and this is just one small battle, the war is not over yet.
Having someone finally take me seriously helped me heaps.
The reality of the housing crisis in New Zealand, especially in the lower socio-economic parts of the Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch is like that of a third world country, much like the slums of Africa, Bangladesh, and India.  With what goes hand –in-hand, which fits like a glove, the lifestyle of the not so rich and famous?    Within this demographic background of hopelessness, people are still trying to survive the best they can.  It’s a national disgrace, to our country, to see the squalor – poor housing conditions that some people live in in the Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch.
It’s a big wake-up call for me personally, to be part of this “under-belly” of society.  A cosmic reality-calamity and reality bites like bed bugs.  For these people come from extremely desperate situations – I know I have lived in the “worst house in the street”.
To explain it better, without proper education, knowledge and choice and decent accommodation, these people literally live the life of an animal.  There is nothing “normal” about these situations, there is no “normal kiwi-life-style” here mate!  Most of these people are very, very poor in all areas of their lives.  On benefits, just come out of jail, alcoholics, drug addicts, mental health patients.  They are at the lower socio-economic part of society.  Come with nothing; go out with nothing - the lowest of the low.  But they are still ‘human beings’.
Within this are their living conditions.  If a person who has lived on the street for twenty or more years suddenly gets a lucky break to live in decent housing conditions, their lives change dramatically for the better.  Studies in the slums in the poorest parts of New York City have proved this.  Living in squalor does impact on the rest of your life.  These people don’t want to be like this – they are victims of circumstances and lack, not because they are necessarily “bad” people.  This ‘lifestyle’ impacts upon these people in many and varied ways.  If trying to get mentally, physically, socially and spiritually well, how can they, when they are struggling to survive?   Then the rest of society judges you as a bludger, loser, tosser, shit-for-brains, no-hoper, parasite, wasted unit.  Who wants to invite ‘decent’ people like close friends, family or work-mates for coffee, or a meal when you live in a slum?
You don’t want people to know where you live, with the state of the house and property - dilapidated, mouldy, run down old dump, rubbish tip.  First impressions are “why would you choose to live here at all”? It’s called extreme desperation, OK!
People are living in squalor, here in the Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch.   Some residential home owners in Avonside, Bexley, Dallington & New Brighton are also in the same place.  Some people’s patience has all gone, the ones that could leave have.  Resignation and resentment are the ‘norm’ people have to put up with their rotten lot.  Slum, scum landlords, let out these run-down dumps and because of the real need of decent affordable housing in Christchurch, at the moment people are forced into living in these run-down dumps.  These people are extremely desperate, and will take anything on offer, by these slum landlords.  Some of these inhabitants then get creamed and milked of their belongings and money because they usually end up owing the landlord, they go to jail, leave, just walk out, or they get asked to leave -   leaving in a rush, leaving their possessions if they have any at the place where they have been staying.  Debt collector agencies and the Gangs are used to collect rent.  Some of the slum landlords will get new tenants to ‘clean up the mess of the previous tenants’.  These situations never change and lives never get any better – living life in these conditions is terrible.
Unless outside help is found, many people get forced to make very, very bad choices therefore unable to move ahead in their lives.  Lack of decent accommodation and good jobs locks them into a vicious cycle of alcohol, addiction, crime, drugs, addiction, poverty, poor education, unemployment.
There has been no benefit rise in the last 18 years.  There is quite simply no money.  So no money, no fun.  No money to spend or save.  The benefit doesn’t pay enough.  People try to survive on it.  Where are all the good jobs?  Well they are not there are they?   No participation in normal social activities for these people.  They don’t work, hold down a job, and often they can’t work.  No social life or skills, often extremely or very poorly educated.  The NZ Education system has failed these people, it didn’t work for them.  Some often steal; do petty crime, just to survive.
Food banks are running out of food.  Usually these people are always in debt, they have no savings.  People on low incomes and beneficiaries can and do become socially isolated, because not only does a job provide an income, but this job can provide these people with a sense of belonging and personal well-being and people do get more social when they work.  Socially they are better off, meeting new people, mixing and forming new social networks.
Sporting activities like Rugby, Cricket, Horse Racing, Softball, Netball, Bowls, what-ever people are into, even the T>A>B> can help to form social networks.  A way out for a hopeless life on the street -
rugby, racing and beer the typical “kiwi-lifestyle”.  One quarter of an acre, good job, nice car, nice kids and you are made for life.  Most people now days don’t have a ‘normal kiwi lifestyle’.  


CCC EOI Rebuilding Social Housing Capacity
Rebuilding Social Housing Capacity - Partners EOI

The CCC are now calling for expressions of interest to select partner
organisations to collaborate with, in order
to rebuild social housing capacity within Christchurch.

Council are seeking innovative solutions (funding and design) to address
the social housing need in Christchurch and recognise the need
to involve external parties to achieve this strategic goal.

To participate, organisations are required to register through the
Tenderlink site. Please find the Tenderlink Link (below) for the EOI:

I have attached the actual EOI Document and the CCC Social Housing
Strategy 2007 link, http://www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/policiesreportsstrategies/strategies/s    for reference.

This process closes on Wednesday, 17 April. The contact person at the
CCC relating to this EOI is Lee Sampson, Facilities Rebuild.
Lee can be contacted on Ph 941-6315 or email lee [dot] sampson [at] ccc [dot] govt [dot] nz

New Minister of Housing Talks with TPA
New Minister of Housing Talks with TPA
On Friday 1st February Tenants Protection Association welcomed a visit from the Minister of Housing The Hon. Dr. Nick Smith and Christchurch Central MP. Nicky Wagner. Dr Smith was on his first visit to Christchurch after being appointed and was keen to hear issues from a tenant advocate perspective. TPA was delighted to be given the opportunity to share with the Minister some of those issues. We hope to see the Minister in Christchurch at a Housing Forum in the near future.