The Housing First Auckland initiative was launched on Thursday 23 March by Social Housing Minister Amy Adams and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
Members of the newly formed Housing First Collective spoke at Auckland Conversations that evening, alongside keynote speaker Dr Sam Tsemberis.
Hearing from the model's designer
Dr Tsemberis is the founder of Pathways to Housing in New York City and designer of the consumer-driven evidence based Housing First model. He spoke to an audience of 500+ Aucklanders – both in the room and online – to share his insights on how to end chronic homelessness.
He says that "chronic homelessness is a solvable and manageable issue for Auckland," and advocates a “whole system approach” in which NGOs, businesses, local and central government can all work together to tackle the issue.
Mayor speaks to open event
Mayor Phil Goff opened the Conversations event, saying “Auckland has become the fourth least affordable city in the world. Not a title we wanted, but one we need to fix.”
The evening’s panellists were:
- Viv Beck – Chief Executive, Heart of the City
- Rau Hoskins – Chairperson, Te Matapihi
- Moira Lawler – Chief Executive, Lifewise
- Graham Bodman – General Manager, Arts Community and Events, Auckland Council.
About Housing First Auckland
Housing First Auckland aims to house 472 homeless Aucklanders and provide wrap-around services to address the causes of their homelessness.
The pilot is funded by Government ($3.7 million) and Auckland Council ($1 million), and involves experienced community organisations, Affinity Services, Lifewise and the Auckland City Mission, LinkPeople and Vision West. It will run for two years.
Housing First Auckland will focus on the city centre, central, west and south Auckland, where there is the highest concentration of homeless people.
Watch the full event with comment from all panellists in the video above, and visit Auckland Conversations to view upcoming events.