Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee will next week consider how the council can and should address homelessness issues in the region and its options for doing so.
Mayor Phil Goff says homelessness is a growing blight on our city with increasing numbers of people sleeping rough in the city centre and suburbs. It represents a huge social and human cost which needs to be addressed.
“The council is working with central government and non-government organisations to progress a housing first policy. This aims to first house the homeless and to also provide support services to tackle the cause which led to them being homeless,” says the Mayor.
The committee report provides advice on the council’s position and role in relation to improving, ending and preventing homelessness.
Committee Chair Councillor Penny Hulse says homelessness has been getting worse and has become increasingly visible in Auckland.
“Public, political and media concern has been growing – and rightly so,” says Cr Hulse.
“We have heard the demands for a more urgent response to house our homeless and this is an important step in the right direction.”
What's already being done?
The council is already funding the Housing First initiative ($1 million), the James Liston Hostel ($2 million), and Emergency Housing coordination ($360,000).
Council is proposing to increase its strategic leadership and continue to implement ‘cross-sectoral’ homelessness activities.