Helping more rough sleepers into homes

  • Amy Adams
Social Housing

The successful Housing First programme is being expanded into more regions across New Zealand to help end chronic homelessness, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has announced.

“We don’t want anyone living on the street and the expansion of Housing First will provide help for up to 500 more high need individuals into permanent housing and address the root causes of their homelessness through the provision of targeted, one-on-one wraparound services,” Ms Adams says.

“Housing First is delivering results in Auckland and Hamilton. We want more people across New Zealand who are sleeping rough to be supported into stable housing, and provided with the broader help they need to improve their lives.”

The additional Housing First places are being allocated as follows:

  • Auckland – 100 places on top of the 472 already provided for
  • Christchurch – up to 100 places
  • Tauranga – up to 100 places
  • Wellington (including Lower Hutt) – up to 150 places.

“These locations have been identified based on the estimates of demand in those locations and the likelihood of suitable providers being available.”

Funding of $500,000 over two years will also be provided for Hamilton’s People Project so they can continue their successful Housing First work in the city.

The Government invested $16.5 million in Budget 2017 to expand Housing First into areas of high need across the country, and today’s announcement sets where those places will be allocated.

“Many of our chronically homeless are grappling with complex problems, such as mental health issues or addiction to drugs or alcohol,” Ms Adams says.

“Housing First quickly moves rough sleepers into appropriate housing and then immediately provides tailored wrap-around services to address the issues that led to their homelessness.”

International results consistently confirm that 80 per cent of people who receive Housing First services retain their housing and do not return to homelessness.

In Auckland, 150 homeless people have already been helped off the streets during the first months of the $4.7 million Auckland Housing First Initiative - a collaboration between the Government and Auckland Council.