Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless

  • Hon Kris Faafoi

Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman.

Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island.

“Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into secure housing,” said the Associate Minister of Housing, Kris Faafoi.

“Housing First is a partnership between iwi, communities, their councils, and Government to end homelessness, not just manage it.

“Our goal is that homelessness should be brief, rare and non-recurring,” Kris Faafoi said.

Nationally, Housing First has already housed 939 individuals and whānau (as at 30 September 2019).

“Housing First recognises that it is much easier for people to address complex needs, such as mental health and addiction, once they are housed.

“Our approach is to provide housing as a starting point, then provide tailored support, for as long as needed, to help people stay in housing and address their issues that led to homelessness,” Mr Faafoi said. 

Labour’s MP for Te Tai Tonga, Rino Tirikatene, represented the Government at the launch of the Housing First Nelson Tasman programme, which is being delivered through The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army provides housing and other support to thousands of New Zealanders, and its Nelson corps is working in partnership with Te Piki Oranga, The Male Room, and Gateway Housing Trust to deliver the service in Nelson Tasman. These partners are all established service providers in the district. Together they will work to house a minimum of 50 individuals and whānau over two years.

Housing First is now helping to house individuals and whānau who are experiencing long-term homelessness in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington and the Hutt, Blenheim and Christchurch. Yesterday we included Hawke’s Bay and today we add Nelson/Tasman to our list of Housing First programmes.

Notes to Editor:

  • Housing First is funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to enable providers to reach out to homeless people and proactively offer support and connect with other agencies to meet each person’s physical and mental health needs.
  • Housing First provides access to a range of health and social services such as mental health counselling, budgeting advice, and drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Budget 2019 provides funding of $197 million to strengthen the programme in Whangarei, mid-far North, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, the Hutt Valley, Nelson, Blenheim and Christchurch.  This funding raises the total number of people Housing First can help to 2,700.