Fifty more of Auckland’s most vulnerable long-term homeless people will have a warm, dry and safe place to stay after the opening of the refurbished James Liston Hostel in central Auckland today, Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says.
The James Liston Hostel in Freemans Bay has provided emergency accommodation to homeless people in Auckland for the past 50 years. It has recently undergone a substantial refurbishment with the help of a $2.05 million repayable grant from Housing New Zealand and a further $2 million from the Auckland City Council.
Phil Twyford said the refurbishment has enabled James Liston to increase the number of people it can house to up to 55, with social service providers on site.
“Addressing the underlying issues that long-term homeless people face through tailored social services is the best way we can avoid people returning to life on the streets.
“I pay tribute to the amazing work the James Liston Trust has done over the past five decades and the vital work they will go on to do from this fantastic new facility.
“I’m pleased Housing NZ was able to support the Trust keep hostel services running during the refurbishment process by providing 18 units on the ninth floor of their Greys Avenue building.
“It was used by the Trust from April last year until the end of January this year and housed 30 homeless people during that time.”
Phil Twyford said the Government understood that people’s wellbeing is intrinsically linked to their housing situation.
“Housing is a basic human right and allows people to live with dignity. We believe New Zealanders deserve a warm, dry and safe home.
“Our Government is committed to tackling homelessness. That’s why we have made it an investment priority for the second Budget in a row.
“Homelessness is the sharp end of the housing crisis. We want to stop people falling through the cracks and becoming homeless in the first place. That’s why we have made almost 1000 more transitional housing places available since coming to office and are well on track to provide 6400 more public housing places funded in last year’s Budget.