Housing First to help Rotorua’s Homeless

Published: May 18, 2020

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Minister Nanaia Mahuta was in Rotorua on World Homeless Day to announce that a key programme focused on helping the homeless into permanent housing will be coming to Rotorua.

LinkPeople, Lifewise and Te Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue (Te Taumata) Trust will be partnering to deliver Housing First in Rotorua.

Housing First is a proven, internationally recognised approach to house and support homeless people with multiple, high and complex needs. It is one of the Government’s key programmes to help tackle homelessness in New Zealand.

The programme recognises it is much easier for people to address complex issues such as mental health problems and addiction once they are housed. The approach is to provide housing quickly then offer tailored support for as long as it’s needed to help people stay housed and address the issues that led to their homelessness. 

Evidence shows that this model has been especially effective in helping homeless people with high and complex needs to stay housed and lead healthier, safer lives.

In Auckland, the Housing First programme has been operating since March 2017, and by the end of June 2018, the programme had housed 285 homeless people or families. 

Housing First began in Tauranga and Christchurch in May 2018, and good results are already being seen in those cities.  In August, an inspiring story ran in the media about how the programme was helping Cantabrian Michael Apanui.

During 2018/19 the programme will also expand to Wellington and the Hutt Valley; Napier and Hastings; Whangarei and Northland; and Blenheim and Nelson. 

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