Social Housing

Social housing solutions and responses following the Canterbury earthquakes.

The weeks and months after the earthquakes saw many displaced residents across Canterbury, compelled to leave damaged homes and unsafe environments. As entire neighbourhoods were declared unliveable and houses red-stickered for eventual demolition, people were faced with the reality of relocation, either temporary or permanent. The content on this page relates to the social housing situation that arose from the Canterbury earthquakes, including some of the most relevant personal accounts, interviews, news reports, and research papers.

Personal Stories:

  • Mary Hamilton's Story | UC QuakeStudies - Mary talks about her relocation after the earthquake on 22 February 2011, when her home was damaged. She applied to Housing New Zealand and after initially being offered a place on Hampshire Street, she was eventually allocated a home in Shirley. She also mentions her struggles with mental health, and how this was exacerbated by discomfort in the rough neighbourhood. She mentions issues with heating in her new home that she has brought up with Housing New Zealand, but they have not responded. Interview conducted 15 November 2013
  • June Tiopira's Story | UC QuakeStudies - June talks about struggling with homelessness after the Canterbury earthquakes. In the immediate aftermath, she took her children to live temporarily with her mother in Avonside, then sold most of her belongings and moved to Picton for a few months. This didn’t work out, and eventually June was allocated a home by Housing New Zealand. Interview conducted 25 November 2011
  • Lois Herbert's Story | UC QuakeStudies - Lois talks about her work as manager of the Battered Women’s Refuge during and after the Canterbury earthquakes. She discusses Housing New Zealand on page 6 and mentions the fact that many women who they saw at the refuge were struggling with housing because they did not meet the criteria to be allocated a new home. Often this led to these women moving in with friends, or sometimes with abusive partners. Interview conducted 6 September 2012
  • Transcript of participant number AP2511's earthquake story | UC QuakeStudies - The participant talks about how the Methven Heritage Centre became a temporary refuge after the earthquake on 22 February 2011. They mention people from Christchurch coming to the iSite for accommodation, and people in the community opening their homes to house others temporarily. Interview conducted 15 November 2012

Audio Files:

Research Papers and Articles:

Other Resources:

General Searches:

For further information on social housing and the Canterbury earthquakes, search the CEISMIC collection or get started with one of the links below.

  • For a general search of the collection that includes "housing" and keywords such as social, transitional, temporary, relocation, shortage, crisis, Linwood, Rawhiti, Kaiapoi, click here
  • To search CEISMIC for images relating to social housing, click here
  • For a selection of videos about social housing, click here
  • To search the archive for audio files on social housing, click here