Fight against homelessness expands into Christchurch and Tauranga

  • Hon Jenny Salesa
Housing and Urban Development

Providers have been selected for the expansion of the successful Housing First programme in Christchurch and Tauranga, Associate Housing and Urban Development Minister Jenny Salesa announced today.

“This Government firmly believes that every New Zealander has a right to a warm, safe and dry home. When people are homeless it strips them of their dignity and hope,” Ms Salesa says. 

The Housing First model is focussed on ending homelessness – not managing it.  It’s an internationally recognised approach to working with people who have been homeless for a long time.

It places them into long-term housing immediately with no readiness conditions and then provides support services to help address issues such as mental health and substance abuse, so they can stay in their home.

“This approach to ending homelessness is working in Auckland.  A pilot has been running in the city since March 2017, and so far, 176 Housing First participants have been placed into secure and stable accommodation.

“We’re hearing from participants that having the stability of a place to call home has made all of the difference in changing their lives around.

“The expansion of Housing First into regions of the country that desperately need support for their homeless population is a step in the right direction in ending chronic homelessness.

“The successful Christchurch proposal is a collaboration model led by Christchurch Methodist Mission, in co-ordination with Comcare, Emerge Aotearoa and Otautahi Community Housing Trust,” says Ms Salesa.

“The People’s Project Tauranga, a subsidiary of the Wise Group, was chosen as the successful provider in Tauranga.  The Wise Group is a family of charitable organisations and one of the largest providers in the New Zealand mental health and addiction sector.

“There will be 100 places available in each city for chronically homeless people urgently in need of help,” says Ms Salesa.

More information on the Housing First pilot in Auckland is available here: