MSD has made an announcement around the Mental Health Social Investment Fund – Package of proposals, you will notice that housing initiatives are included in the approach to improve the mental health of New Zealanders.
MSD say they know there is often a significant association between a person’s poor mental health and their need for housing support. Stable housing situations can help improve mental health. New Zealand evidence shows that the rates of hospitalisation for mental and behavioural disorders declined by about 20 per cent following placement in social housing and are sustained for at least two years after placement.
There are two housing initiatives announced as part of the package, they are:
Youth Supportive Housing
Will provide stable housing as a foundation from where mental health issues can be addressed for young people aged between 16 to 24 years old.
Tenancy Support Services
Will provide tenancy support services for people at risk, or experiencing an acute mental health crisis. The service will be for people in the private market and in social housing who can often struggle to establish and maintain stable accommodation, which can then become a barrier to their recovery and long-term well being.
The Ministry of Social Development expects to have these services in place in the second half of 2018 and will be talking with the wider housing sector about these initiatives in the months to come.