Housing the homeless over winter 2018

No one needed to live in a car or be left out in the cold during winter 2018. Our aim was that everyone who approached us for help with housing was supported in some way to find a place to stay.

Our all-hands-on-deck approach to preparing for winter was strongly focussed on collaboration and engagement. We worked closely with other government agencies, community providers and the wider housing sector to understand and react quickly to what happened on the ground, and in our communities.

This approach allowed us to do everything we could to help New Zealanders get through winter safely.

The target for the Winter 2018 Response was to deliver more than 1,500 places across Housing First, transitional and public housing during Winter 2018, running to 30 September 2018:

  • up to 50 additional Housing First households placed in permanent housing in Christchurch, Tauranga and Wellington
  • up to 416 additional transitional housing places
  • up to 1,071 additional public housing tenancies

This was just the start of what we aimed to achieve over winter. We will always do more if we can, and we worked closely with our providers, the wider housing sector and communities to uncover all possible options for more housing supply.

The target for Housing First is in addition to the Auckland Housing First programme. As at 30 June 2018, 285 Housing First households in Auckland have been placed in permanent housing.

How we tracked against our targets for winter 2018

Our target was to deliver up to 1,537 additional places over winter 2018. We delivered 1,742 places, exceeding the target by 205 places:

  • 33 Housing First households placed in permanent housing
  • 684 additional transitional housing places, exceeding the target by 268 places
  • 1,047 additional public housing tenancies (603 Community Housing (CHP) tenancies; 444 State Housing (Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities) tenancies).
Table of data showing how we tracked against our winter 2018 targets
Graph showing how we tracked against our winter 2018 targets

Housing First providers in Christchurch and Tauranga began delivering services in May and June respectively. So far, 33 households have been placed in long term housing, with a further 96 households engaged in the Housing First service.

Please note that 22 of the 33 Housing First households placed in permanent housing were housed in public housing, and have been counted in the Public Housing tenancies total.

New Zealanders supported the Winter 2018 Response

The housing situation that New Zealand is currently experiencing will take time to solve – it’s not something that can be fixed overnight.

The priority is to increase the number of houses, and support all New Zealanders to have a warm, safe and dry place to live.

We are always open to new and innovative ideas that will help us to increase the housing supply, and any ideas of land we can use. This winter, we were specifically interested in hearing about:

  • properties that might have been available over winter, such as seasonal worker accommodation or private rental homes
  • small land options that were suitable for temporary housing, with power and water connections already available, such as campgrounds, marae or private land.

As at the end of September we received nearly 380 contacts about potential opportunities from members of the public, private landlords or landowners, NGOs, iwi, and developers.

Funding for the Winter 2018 Response

Approximately $37.1 million was allocated to be invested this winter across Public Housing, Transitional Housing and Housing First.

Published: September 12, 2019