This supportive housing will be part of a total redevelopment commencing in 2018 and due for completion in mid-2020, which will include new, expanded facilities on the Mission’s existing Hobson Street property.
As well as accommodating the charity’s existing social and health services, 80 apartments will be built to provide supportive housing for some of central Auckland’s chronic rough sleepers, as well as low-income Aucklanders on the social housing register.
Auckland City Missioner, Chris Farrelly, says the announcement is another significant step towards ending homelessness in Auckland.
“The new facility, complete with supportive, long-term accommodation for chronically homeless individuals, will be nothing short of life-changing for a population which is not only incredibly marginalised and vulnerable, but also a huge cost to taxpayers when left out on the street,” he says.
“The redevelopment supports the Auckland City Centre Housing First initiative jointly carried out by Auckland City Mission and Lifewise. In the past six months we have housed 20 long-term chronic homeless people using the housing first model and are desperately looking for more housing,” he says.
Mr Farrelly says the Mission’s work has outgrown its current site and doesn’t provide the accommodation facilities that homeless Aucklanders desperately need or the appropriate support services.
“Our existing facilities have served us for many years, but are too small and no longer fit-for-purpose,” he says.
“This hinders staff and volunteers’ ability to offer the level of support needed to the most vulnerable in our community. The new building will not only allow us to fully accommodate our existing services; it will mean we can expand and provide that wrap-around support which is vital in terms of ensuring long-term, positive outcomes for people.”
Auckland City Mission Board Chairman, Bishop Jim White, says the Board is grateful for the Ministry’s support and is now ready to delve into the next stage.
“We are thrilled with this announcement and to be at the point where we can commence with finalising planning for the new building and fundraising for the $40 million balance required,” he says. “This represents a tremendous step forward in terms of supporting those in our community who are in desperate need of housing and social support.”
The new, eight-story Mission building is being designed by award-winning architects, Stevens Lawson, with the intention of enhancing the Hobson Street streetscape. The iconic design will be home to leading edge provision of essential social and health services, with improved access, quality and integration.
A wider range of services will also be provided, such as the existing medical centre expanding to include dental and specialist mental health services and an expanded drug and alcohol detoxification centre, reflecting the increased demand for both of these crucial services. A community café is also in the works, as well as a roof-top garden, commercial kitchen and community activity rooms which will be available to residents, Homeless Drop-in visitors and for hire to the general public.