Whangarei homeless people are getting more chances to have a home with the launch today of Whangarei Housing First.
Associate Housing Minister, Kris Faafoi, congratulated the organisations which have worked together to create this local solution to homelessness, supported by Whangarei Council and government agencies.
Local people have stepped up as champions to provide homes in partnership with each other, Kris Faafoi said.
Housing First Whangarei is a collaboration between Ngati Hine Health, Kahui Tu Kaha and One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House, supported by the Whangarei City Council and funded through government housing targeted at the housing crisis.
“Homelessness is a complex issue that no single organisation can solve alone. In that spirit together Whangarei is providing an important gift that means so much to people without a warm, safe bed and a home for them and their whanau.
“Ngati Hine Health, Kahui Tu Kaha and One Double Five Whare Awhina Community House have stepped up to provide shelter to homeless New Zealanders.
“Housing First recognises it is much easier for people to address complex issues such as mental health problems and addiction once they are housed.
“The Government has already made significant investment in housing which received over $800m in Budget 2018, $500m in Budget 2019 and an additional $54m through the recently announced Homelessness package. Budget 2019 also provided $40m more for Māori housing and this funding will help more whānau access healthy, affordable, secure homes.
“We firmly believe that every New Zealander has a right to a secure, safe and dry home.
“When people are homeless it strips them of their dignity and hope. We, as a government, won’t accept that,” said Kris Faafoi.
The Housing First model is focussed on ending homelessness.
It’s an internationally recognised approach to working with people who have been homeless for a long time.
It places them into long-term housing immediately and then provides support services to help address issues such as mental health and substance abuse so they can stay in their home.
This approach to ending homelessness has been working up and down New Zealand since March 2017, including in Christchurch, Auckland, Hamilton Tauranga, Rotorua, and Wellington.
“The expansion of Housing First into more regions of the country which desperately need support for their homeless populations is a step in the right direction for ending chronic homelessness,” said Kris Faafoi.
For more information on Housing First: https://www.housingfirst.co.nz/