Co-design in practice – the Auckland city centre Housing First project

Sep 1, 2016 | Member profiles

The project group from left to right: Rangi, Awatea, John H., Robert St., Darryl, Rachelle, Scott, Albert, John K., Moira, Louelle, Sophia, Robert Sm., Gerard, Lisa and Vicky (plus Zoe and Sarah—not in photo)

The Housing First project kicked off on 1 June this year and members include: Lifewise, Auckland City Mission, the Assertive Community Outreach Service (ACOS), Community Alcohol and Drug Services (CADS), Airedale Property Trust (APT), Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA), Ministry of Social Development (MSD), and Housing New Zealand (HNZ). Also on the project group are people with lived experience of homelessness. Their involvement is crucial to the project so that the voice of the rough sleeper community is at the table from the outset.

The team are using a co-design approach to adapt the Housing First model to our unique context in Aotearoa, and more specifically, for those who are currently experiencing chronic homelessness in the Auckland city centre.

Co- design reflects a fundamental change to traditional service or programme design. Rather than service providers designing services or programmes in isolation, the co-design approach enables a wider range of people to make a creative contribution in the formulation and solution of a problem. A key tenet of co-design is that users, as ‘experts’ of their own experience, become central to the design process. For the Housing First project, the contribution of people with lived experience occurs in different forms, from participation on the project team, participation in empathy interviews, creative brainstorming sessions and through to the initial testing of ideas and concepts.

The lived experience voice and active contribution is critical throughout and actually guides the development of solutions. Project lead, Zoe Truell, says this is a human-centred way to understand the complexities for those experiencing chronic homelessness in Auckland city centre and a way to create housing and supports that are better-orientated to people’s wishes. “Tenancies fall over a lot and we need to make sure we are setting up homes that can be sustained.”

Read the full article on this project here:

auckland central housing first article final.pdf

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