Keeping vulnerable people housed

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods

Vulnerable New Zealanders in need of housing will be supported throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond with over a hundred million dollars in extra funding, announced by Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods today.

“Finding safe accommodation for our most vulnerable people through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a key priority for the government.

“People living rough or in accommodation where social distancing was not possible were especially vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Since the Alert Levels were put in place, more than 1100 additional motel units have been secured for people living rough and homeless by government agencies, community housing, iwi and Māori providers.

“As of this weekend 876 units have vulnerable individuals and whānau living in them and they are being supported with social services.”

New funding of $107.6 million will ensure they continue to be housed for the longer term, with 1600 units being funded. $31 million of the funding will provide wrap around services to support those people’s needs.

“Many of the people living in the motels have high and complex needs and it’s crucial they get support. This government investment will provide certainty for the people and whānau living in motels and the providers supporting them during this difficult time.

“It will enable people to stay housed until we can secure more long-term housing supply.”

“Work is already underway to look at more permanent housing for those that have been housed during the lockdown. The government has a comprehensive plan to bring on more public housing including an additional 1,000 transitional housing places announced as part of the Homelessness Action Plan in February.

“As the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the government’s build programme and work with the construction sector will resume to bring on more housing at pace,” Megan Woods said.