There are 4,200 New Zealanders sleeping rough or in cars at any one time. Because of insufficient emergency housing, it takes the Government over 155 days on average to house a homeless person.
No New Zealander should be homeless. We’re a better country than that.
HOW THE PLAN WORKS
Labour will take serious action to end homelessness by investing an additional $60m over four years in new emergency housing places so that families living in cars or on the street will have a roof over their heads.
Labour believes in a housing first approach, and that ideally individuals and families should be housed in stable and permanent accommodation in the first instance. Right now, there’s a housing crisis. We need immediate accommodation options while we get on with the job of building more homes.
NGOs acquire emergency housing by building or buying accommodation. The $15m a year of additional funding will provide 1,400 new beds – an increase from 800 at present to 2,200.
That is enough places to help an additional 5,100 people per year.
Typically, people are homeless for a period of a few months - there is a considerable flow of people in and out of homelessness. This new supply of emergency housing will be enough, over time, to support the homeless population into permanent housing. Labour’s commitments to build more state and affordable housing will mean more permanent housing is available for them.
Unlike the Government’s recent announcement, which only funds existing emergency housing, this policy will increase the number of beds available through community providers.
Labour will work with NGOs to help homeless people stay housed and access the services they need.
The Government must support the work of emergency housing providers by making sure essential wraparound services such as addiction, mental health and budgeting are made available.
This emergency housing policy is part of Labour’s comprehensive housing plan, which includes:
- Building more state houses and maintaining them properly, rather than selling them off.
- Requiring all rentals to be warm, dry, and healthy to live in.
- Building thousands of affordable homes for first home buyers.