The Government’s announcement to increase investment in Housing First services across New Zealand is positive news for the 1,450 people and families who will benefit from this funding.
Speaking on behalf of the collective (Auckland City Mission together with Lifewise, Kāhui Tū Kaha, LinkPeople and VisionWest), project lead Julie Nelson said that while we are not clear about the specific detail of the investment, this announcement signals the Government’s commitment to Housing First and ending homelessness.
“We know Housing First works to house people who are chronically homeless, sleeping rough on the street or in cars and garages. The approach is backed by more than 20 years’ evidence and is proven to significantly reduce and end homelessness,” Ms Nelson said.
By 31 March 2018, the Housing First Auckland collective has housed 396 adults and families with children. The collective was formed in March 2017 and began reporting results in May.
“This announcement recognises the significant work in New Zealand by Housing First providers. It means more people can begin to be supported rapidly into housing before they hit that crisis point, especially coming into the harsh winter months,” Ms Nelson said.
“For homelessness in New Zealand to be rare, brief and non-recurring we need a whole of system approach, where services, organisations and communities work together to end homelessness.”
Ms Nelson said a national strategy could support this. “It’s important that we see the development of a national strategy to support not only this investment, but continued investment to end homelessness.” “One person homeless is one person too many. We want to do more – and we’re confident we have the capacity and the capability to provide much needed support to end homelessness for more people in Auckland,” Ms Nelson said.
The results of the Housing First Auckland collective https://www.housingfirst.co.nz/results are available on its website each month. The Collective’s one-year results will be available in May.
Read the full announcement on the Beehive website https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/100-million-tackle-homelessness