Houses promised for home­less

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TOM CARNEGIE

A hous­ing model with the am­bi­tious goal to end home­less­ness in Auck­land has of­fi­cially launched.

The model, called Hous­ing First, is on a two year pi­lot and aims to end home­less­ness in Auck­land by putting 472 rough sleep­ers into per­ma­nent hous­ing as soon as pos­si­ble.

The Hous­ing First pi­lot has been up and run­ning since early March but was of­fi­cially launched by Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff and So­cial Hous­ing Min­is­ter Amy Adams on March 23.

Adams said in or­der to help rough sleep­ers they needed to be put into se­cure hous­ing first.

‘‘This Hous­ing First pi­lot will help achieve this by helping our home­less into safe, se­cure and sta­ble ac­com­mo­da­tion, and then pro­vid­ing wrap-around ser­vices to ad­dress their is­sues,’’ she said.

The model goes against the tra­di­tional ap­proach of ad­dress­ing health and ad­dic­tion is­sues be­fore putting home­less peo­ple into hous­ing.

Funds for the project are com­ing from the Gov­ern­ment, which put up $3.7 mil­lion, and Auck­land Coun­cil which has al­lo­cated $1m.

Auck­land Mayor Phil Goff said home­less­ness was a grow­ing prob­lem in Auck­land and it needed 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 here.

‘‘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,’’ Goff said.

Cre­ated by Cana­dian com­mu­nity psy­chol­o­gist Sam Tsem­beris in 1992, Hous­ing First is based on the idea that home­less should be housed first be­fore any other is­sues such as ad­dic­tion and men­tal health are ad­dressed.

Hous­ing First is be­ing im­ple­mented by the Auck­land City Mis­sion, Life­wise, LinkPeo­ple, Vi­sion West and Affin­ity Ser­vices, which to­gether make up the Auck­land Hous­ing First Col­lec­tive.

Auck­land City Mis­sion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chris Far­relly said the ap­proach was al­ready well ad­vanced in Hamil­ton where more than 200 peo­ple had al­ready been housed.

‘‘Once they are in a house we then can rap the sup­port they need around them.’’

TOM CARNEGIE/FAIR­FAX NZ

Cana­dian com­mu­nity psy­chol­o­gist Tsem­beris cre­ated the Hous­ing First ap­proach in 1992.

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