Research completed as part of the Council’s Central City Residential Programme (Project 8011) indicates that the current Central City housing stock is more attractive to some types of people, such as young professionals.

The Council supports alternative residential development projects that bring a diversity of housing typologies, tenures and price points (including community and affordable housing) to the Central City in various ways.

What is alternative housing? 

An alternative housing provider delivers housing projects via an alternative approach to the standard market-led, for profit model of housing delivery. Examples include community housing, papakāinga housing, co-housing and alternative tenure models such as community land trusts, rent to own and shared equity schemes.

Support for alternative housing providers

If you are interested in pursuing or exploring alternative housing, please email

The Council’s policies prioritise housing as a human right and consider it to be a vital community infrastructure (Housing Policy 2016, Community Housing Strategy 2021 to 2031). We currently offer the following direct support to alternative housing providers:

  • Partnership, as and when opportunities arise, to deliver alternative housing.
  • Access to land through:
    • Notifying community housing providers of Council land identified for disposal.
    • A Strategic Land Acquisitions Fund, for the purchase of land to support alternative housing provision. This requires consideration of a proposal and business case from an alternative housing provider.
  • Access to funding and financial incentives through:
  • Information, advice and case management:
    • A partnership approvals service providing dedicated assistance to:
      • facilitate access to development opportunities
      • navigate regulatory processes
    • Information about the funding support noted above.
    • Information relevant to general residential and alternative housing development within the Central City.
    • Design advice and concept plans to facilitate more comprehensive redevelopment of sites, including adjoining sites. 
    • Coordinating and/or connecting alternative housing providers to Council staff, including geotechnical, structural engineering, fire engineering and building consent experts for their assistance. 
    • Technical advice and information about potential regulatory and design requirements. 
    • Free advice from our Eco Design Advisor to help you build smarter. 
    • Design review by the independent Christchurch Urban Design Panel
  • Promoting alternative housing and Central City living, including the positive attributes of the non-traditional housing models and residential neighbourhoods found in the Central City.
  • Providing public facilities and public realm improvements, to help meet the needs of Central City residents.

Work underway

As part of the Central City Residential Programme, work is underway to consider the:

  • Introduction of a Development Contribution rebate for alternative housing.
  • Extension of an existing rates remission to include new builds by community housing providers.

Got a question or want to know more?

If you would like more information about the above support for alternative housing providers and projects, please contact