Govt could help ease rental crisis- Christchurch mayor

6:10 am on 15 April 2012

The mayor of Christchurch does not think the Government is doing enough to address the rental crisis in his city

Rents have increased 15% since the earthquakes, with extra demand coming from homeowners displaced by the disaster.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee maintains the situation has yet to reach crisis point.

And he says demand will ease once repairs are completed to Housing New Zealand stock and council-owned accommodation.

However mayor Bob Parker told TV3's The Nation that more temporary accommodation needs to be made available by the Government.

Mr Parker says the council approached the Government a year ago about building extra accommodation to prevent rents getting out of control.

It is predicted rents will be pushed even higher, with 24,000 tradespeople due to arrive in the city for the rebuild.

USB senior economist Robin Clements is the latest to call for immediate government action to address a massive shortage of rental properties and rapidly rising rents.

Mr Clements wants the Government to build extra temporary accommodation and bring back campervans to the A&P Showgrounds in Addington.

He believes it is not good enough for the Government to say the market will sort the crisis out. He says the market could take two years to respond and action is needed now.