Homelessness Action Plan

The Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan (2020-2023) has been developed to prevent and reduce homelessness. It sets out an overarching framework with actions to improve the wellbeing and housing outcomes of individuals and whānau who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

It is a shift in the way the government responds to homelessness. It is a multi-year cross-government roadmap towards the Government’s vision that ‘homelessness is prevented where possible, or is rare, brief and non-recurring’.

The plan is an important step in delivering on this vision. It sets out an overarching framework with actions to improve the wellbeing and housing outcomes of individuals and whānau who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

The plan has 18 immediate actions to be put in place in 2020, and a further 18 longer-term actions to be developed for implementation over 2020-2023.  By taking the immediate actions, we will support over 10,000 people at risk of or experiencing homelessness over three years.

This action plan is backed up by over $300 million of new government funding.

The four key action areas

Preventing homelessness

1. Prevention initiatives work to ensure individuals and whānau receive the support they need so that homelessness stops happening in the first place. Pathways into homelessness are varied, and there are many touch points where people are interacting with government agencies or other organisations in their communities.
2. Support at the right time can prevent someone from becoming homeless or needing emergency housing. Immediate actions will help people address issues that put their tenancies at risk and support people at points where they are at risk of homelessness.
3. In the longer-term, agencies will continue to embed prevention responses and work to better coordinate services so that no one falls through gaps in support.

Increasing supply

4. There needs to be enough houses for people to call home and increasing public housing and affordable housing is a key part of any response to homelessness, and crucial to the success of the plan
5. Despite the significant investment already made, demand for public housing is increasing faster than new supply and, in some locations, new supply is needed urgently. Action is needed now to reduce the number of individuals and whānau currently staying in emergency accommodation.
6. Immediate and longer-term actions will focus on increasing our supply of different types of housing, with a focus on working with Māori Community Housing providers and other Māori and Iwi providers. 

Supporting people

7. Some individuals and whānau require support to navigate through the system, so they do not cycle round the system or get stuck in short-term accommodation.  Through the action plan more support will be provided for individuals and whānau experiencing homelessness to move quickly into stable accommodation and access wider social support.
8. Support provided should involve identifying and addressing a range of needs, including the need for on-going support. This support will be culturally appropriate and tailored to individuals and whānau.
9. Housing First will continue to be the core response to chronic homelessness and immediate actions will build upon the recent investment in Intensive Case Managers and navigators.  
10. In the long term we will look to explore options to further support people who are experiencing homelessness and review the effectiveness of current support services. 

Enabling the system

11. Preventing and reducing homelessness requires everyone to work together to respond to the different challenges faced in communities around New Zealand. The system needs to support and enable our vision and together we can address homelessness. 
12. Immediate and long-term actions will focus on building the capability and capacity of the workforce as a crucial component of any response, along with collaboration and better data and information on homelessness. 

Published: May 18, 2020