Programme to fight homelessness to be expanded to Whangarei and Northland

Housing and Urban Development

Whangarei and Northland are set to receive funding as part of Budget 2018 to expand the successful Housing First programme to the region, to help end homelessness.

“Housing First is a proven way to house and support people who have been homeless a long time, or are homeless and face multiple and complex needs,” says Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.

“The approach is simple: provide housing quickly then offer tailored support for as long as it’s needed to help people stay housed and lead better lives.

“Housing First aims to end homelessness for people, not just manage it. The goal is that homelessness should be brief, rare and non-recurring.”

Last Friday, as part of Budget 2018, Minister Twyford and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced $63.4 million in funding for Housing First over the next four years. 

“Whangarei and Northland were selected to receive funding for Housing First places due to high need. The area currently has a high number of people in insecure housing, transitional housing and receiving Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants.

“A process is currently being worked through to determine the exact amount of funding and number of places the area will receive. Government will take a staged approach to expanding the programme into Whangarei and Northland, which we expect to begin later this year or next year,” says Phil Twyford.

“Ending homelessness is a priority for the Government. Every person has a right to a warm, dry, secure and safe place to live.

“People who are homeless a long time are very vulnerable. They often face complex issues such as poor health or mental health, substance abuse and unemployment. Stable housing is a vital first step in helping them turn their lives around.

“We’re already seeing the success Housing First has had in Auckland, and we’re excited to be expanding this programme to other regions.

“No one should be left out in the cold this winter.  We encourage anyone who needs support in finding somewhere to live, to contact Work and Income to discuss the support that is available,” Phil Twyford says.