1,000 extra housing places so far this winter

More than 1,000 extra transitional, public and housing first places have been made available so far this winter, with many more expected to be ready soon, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford in May announced the Government was taking urgent action to tackle homelessness this winter by investing $100 million in 1500 new housing places compared to the end of last year.

Phil Twyford said the Government was well on its way to achieving its original target.

“Reaching this milestone means at least 1,000 households will have a warm, dry and safe place to live instead of worrying whether they’ll even have a roof over their heads.

“So far, we’ve brought on nearly 600 public housing tenancies, 440 transitional housing places for households on a path to long-term housing, and three households have been placed in permanent housing through Housing First.”

The Winter 2018 response is a all-hands-on-deck approach to helping people in need this winter, and is strongly focused on working with the wider community to make more housing available.

“The wider housing sector, including community housing providers, transitional housing providers, our Housing First providers and Housing New Zealand, has worked tirelessly with the Ministry of Social Development to provide as many housing places as possible,” Phil Twyford said.

“The Government’s incredibly grateful to the public, who responded in droves to the Prime Minister’s call to action. We’ve received over 270 contacts about potential housing opportunities from members of the public, private landlords or landowners, NGOs, iwi and developers.   

“These contacts have so far resulted in 122 more housing places being made available, with nearly 73 more expected to be ready shortly.

“While 1,500 more places was the goal that was set originally for this winter, the Government said from the start that we will always do more if we can, and we stand by that commitment,” Phil Twyford said.