Houses promised for homeless
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.’’
Canadian community psychologist Tsemberis created the Housing First approach in 1992.