Councillor won't resign over Christchurch housing

7:57 am on 15 March 2013

The Christchurch City councillor in charge of social housing is refusing to stand down, but accepts criticism from the Earthquake Recovery Minister.

Gerry Brownlee has lambasted the council for fixing just half a dozen units closed because of earthquake damage and called for Yani Johanson to resign.

Nearly 450 of Christchurch City Council's units are still closed - almost a fifth of its social housing stock.

Mr Brownlee says while the council has put people back into six units, Housing New Zealand has repaired and tenanted 212 properties and 95 more will be re-let by June.

Mr Johanson, who chairs the council's Community, Recreation and Culture Committee, says the council has no excuses and is speeding up repairs, with 70 of the closed units to be ready by the end of the year.

All units are to be ready to occupy in three years instead of five.

Mr Johanson says he is not happy with progress either, but it is unfair Mr Brownlee took a swipe at him personally.

Christchurch housing advocate Warren Smith says Mr Brownlee's criticism of the council's efforts to fix social housing is justified, and the rate of progress has been appalling.

Mr Smith says all repairs should be able to be done within a year.