The Government is taking serious action to tackle homelessness and support people in urgent need of housing this winter with a $100 million investment, says Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.
“We’re pulling out all the stops to support people in need and urgently increase housing supply this winter. We’re also investing heavily in the future of the Housing First programme to support our most vulnerable homeless people and families,” says Phil Twyfor
The Ministry of Social Development is working on the ground with providers and communities across New Zealand with a $37 million investment to urgently increase housing supply this winter.
“By the end of winter, we will have more than 1,500 additional transitional, public and Housing First places, compared to the end of last year.
The Government has earmarked $63.4 million of new operating spending in Budget 2018 to expand and sustain Housing First services for more than 1,450 households over the next four years. This will:
• Boost funding for on-going services for more than 900 households in the Housing First programme in Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Lower Hutt – $20.5 million.
• Expand the Housing First programme to a further 550 households in other regions – $42.9 million.
“Housing First is a programme for the most vulnerable people and families; those who are really struggling with long-term homelessness or facing multiple and complex needs. It aims to end homelessness, not just manage it,” says Phil Twyford.
“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.
“In the meantime, our Government will make sure everyone is helped to find warm, dry housing this winter, and our most vulnerable people and families get the intensive help they need.
“For anyone who needs help with housing this winter, I urge you to go to Work and Income. Our frontline services are ready with a raft of options to help people who need support with housing this winter,” Phil Twyford says.
Note for editors:
• Housing First is an internationally-proven programme to house and support chronically homeless people or those who are homeless with multiple, complex needs.
• It recognises it’s much easier for people to address complex issues such as mental health and substance abuse when they have secure, warm housing.
• Housing First provides housing with no readiness conditions such as psychiatric treatment or sobriety. It also provides wrap-around support and services, for as long as needed, to help people stay housed and improve their lives. The programme has been highly successful at ending homelessness for people both overseas and in New Zealand.
Read the story on Scoop here.