Today I launched the Housing First programme, which aims to end homelessness in Rotorua. The program is a partnership of LinkPeople, Lifewise and Taumata o Ngāti Whakaue Trust, and is in recognition of World Homeless Day.
Housing First is a proven, internationally recognised programme that supports the homeless with high and complex needs. It provides them with a home and continues to support them for as long as they need including helping address the issues that led to their homelessness.
This partnership will be tackling homelessness head-on in Rotorua, with the aim of ending it completely, not just managing it. The successful delivery of the programme depends upon the combined experience of LinkPeople and Lifewise, who are already delivering Housing First services in other regions, with the wisdom, expertise and local networks of Te Taumata.
Earlier this year, when the Homeless Count took place in Rotorua, a total of 82 households were found without shelter. Since then, the demand for action has increased. Housing First is our response, and the focus is to make homelessness a thing of the past in Rotorua. Final negotiations around delivery of the service are still underway, once they are complete, the Rotorua programme will begin operating.
Government is focussed on supporting all New Zealanders to have a warm, safe and dry place to call home. However, we can’t do it alone.
We are committed to working with our iwi, our Community Housing Providers, The Rotorua City Council and our trusted community partners to tackle this crisis.