A new initiative aimed at ending chronic homelessness in Auckland has officially kicked off.
Social Housing Minister Amy Adams and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff have launched Housing First Auckland, which aims to house 472 homeless Aucklanders and provide wrap-around services to address the causes of their homelessness.
“We don’t want to see anyone living on the street or in shelters,” says Ms Adams.
“The drivers behind homelessness are often complicated and difficult, such as mental health issues, alcoholism or family violence, and there isn’t a quick fix. We need to combat homelessness at its core, by addressing the causes behind it."
Mayor: Tackling homelessness a priority
Mayor Goff says: “Homelessness is a growing problem in Auckland and it needs to be tackled as a priority. The housing first approach has worked in other cities in New Zealand and overseas and that is why we are adopting it here.
“It makes absolute sense for central and local government, NGOs and the private sector to work together to take effective steps to respond to chronic homelessness.
“Housing First Auckland is already delivering results, with eight rough sleepers in Central and West Auckland now in homes with on-going wrap-around support. Across the city, more than 30 people are in the wings for similar support. This is a start but there is much to do.”
About the Auckland pilot
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.
Ms Adams and Mr Goff said they were both looking forward to seeing how Housing First Auckland would deliver for Auckland’s homeless population.
Hear the conversation
An Auckland Conversations event about Housing First was held Thursday 23 March. Dr Sam Tsemberis, designer of the Housing First model and founder of Pathways to Housing in New York City presented and shared insights on how to end chronic homelessness in Auckland using the Housing First approach.
Watch the video to hear Mayor Phil Goff’s opening address and a discussion between Dr Tsemberis and a panel of Auckland experts on how Housing First will be adopted to meet the needs of Aucklanders. The panellists were: Viv Beck – Chief Executive, Heart of the City; Rau Hoskins – Chairperson, Te Matapihi; Moira Lawler – Chief Executive, Lifewise and Graham Bodman – General Manager, Arts Community and Events, Auckland Council.