By Corazon Miller
Two Christchurch women have laid down the ground work for a solution to the city’s looming accommodation crisis. The shaken city’s earthquakes have, among other problems, created a rental shortage crisis, a situation which will only get worse as large numbers of contractors come to Christchurch to assist with the rebuild.
Jackie Thomas, along with her business partner Lesley Fulton, foresaw the need for a solution to the crisis – and so ContractAccom was born – to fill the gap in the market.
Together they have established a network of providers who are willing to offer up a room, or two, a bed, meals and a homey environment. “We have an extensive network of homes available that have a warm and welcoming vibe,” she says.
What ContractAccom offers is a “one-stop-shop” that provides a more comfortable home away from home taking away all the domestic worries that comes with renting a property. “It’s a homestay-style bed and breakfast, with everything taken care of.”
They are confident large numbers of contractors will be arriving – and when they do, they will need a place to stay. “There is an interest in our service,” she says.
Jackie also points out that many of the Christchurch rebuilders will be here just for the rebuild. They may be here for three weeks or they may be here for a year. Whatever their case may be, one thing is certain, they will need a bed at night. “While a hostel may be great for 20+ year-olds backpacking through Europe, it’s just not ideal after a day of hard labour.”
Which is where ContractAccom steps in providing something to suit anyone’s needs, from the nice small room to a large ensuite and personal lounge – there is something for everyone across a range of price brackets. “We work to cater for all needs,” Jackie says. “We meet with people or families who want to provide a home and ensure they are all up to scratch.”
Many of those offering up their homes often see it as a chance to do their bit for the rebuild. As Jackie pointed out not everyone can plaster or patch up buildings, but they can offer a bed, food and a home. “We have a mammoth task ahead of us to rebuild Christchurch with our huge infrastructure;
this is one way we can help those doing the hard yards”.
However, like all start-ups these things take time. Jackie says it’s been a slow start – but not for lack of interest. It’s simply because the rebuild is taking its time to reach full swing.
But Jackie is urging companies not to wait till “D-day” before getting in touch. “Ideally we want to work with organisations before the rush starts and forward plan to meet their requirements. Get in touch now,” she urges. “It won’t get easier to find a place to stay.”