Housing First programme proves value in Auckland

The permanent housing of 227 long-term homeless people in Auckland over the past year demonstrates why the Housing First programme is internationally acclaimed, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says.

“The Housing First Auckland collective was launched in March last year to end homelessness for 472 chronically homeless adults and families in Auckland,” Phil Twyford said.

“That’s 227 people and their wider families that Housing First has changed the lives of.

“Having a permanent home gives people the safe and stable environment they need to address issues which have led to their homelessness such as mental health issues and substance abuse.

“In this year’s Budget our Government allocated $63.4 million of new spending to expand and sustain Housing First services for more than 1,450 households over the next four years, and an extra $1 million for research and evaluation.

“Of this funding, $20.5 million will boost ongoing services to help more than 900 households in the Housing First programme in Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, Wellington and the Hutt, while $42.9 million will expand the Housing First programme to help a further 550 households in other regions.

“Homelessness is the sharp end of the national housing crisis which was created over the past decade. New Zealand needs more houses and we’re working on this.

“We’re going to build an additional 6,400 state houses over the next four years so less families are forced to live in overcrowded houses and substandard accommodation such as garages and campgrounds. And our KiwiBuild programme will build tens of thousands of affordable houses to help young families into their first starter home and take the pressure off the private rental market,” Phil Twyford said.