150 homeless helped off the streets in the first four months

  • Amy Adams
Social Housing

An effort to end chronic homelessness in Auckland is making strong progress in its first four months, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“Since its launch in late March, Housing First Auckland has helped 150 people across Auckland into housing. Early indications are showing that more than 95 per cent are keeping off the streets,” Ms Adams says.

Housing First has helped 93 households off the street, out of shelters, cars, garages and overcrowded homes into safe, secure and stable accommodation. This includes 70 single adults, and 23 adults with 57 children. Housing First is currently working with another 156 people to help them into homes.

More than 75 per cent of those housed have been placed into Auckland’s private rental market, with the remainder going into social housing.

“This is a group who are struggling with a particularly complex set of issues, whether it’s mental health, alcoholism or family violence. Through initiatives like Housing First we can change the lives of people with highly-complex problems that don’t fit neatly within traditional government structures and approaches,” says Ms Adams.

“The priority for Housing First is to quickly move people into appropriate housing and then immediately provide wrap-around services to support their success. The model recognises that it’s easier for people to address the issues, such as mental health and substance abuse, once they are housed.

“Auckland is quickly seeing the benefit of Housing First’s approach to ending chronic homelessness on our streets. By no means is the problem solved, but these are encouraging numbers and first steps towards helping ease Auckland’s homeless.”

Of the 93 individuals, 43 are in the West, 18 in the CBD, 27 in South Auckland and five in Central Auckland. Single males have represented more than half of the adults housed in the first four months. 59 per cent are Maori.

Housing First Auckland is a joint initiative between the Government, Auckland Council, and a collective of five services including Affinity Services, Auckland City Mission, Lifewise, LinkPeople and VisionWest. It will help 472 homeless people over the next two years. The Government is investing $3.75 million and the Auckland Council $1 million.

Find out more about Housing First results at www.housingfirst.co.nz/results.