April 28, 2020
Homeless fears eased by motel extension
Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly says he’s seeing a positive difference in the lives of homeless people who were placed in motels for the COVID-19 lockdown.
Since alert levels were put in place government agencies, community housing, iwi and Māori providers have secured more than 1100 motel units for people living rough and homeless.
Now the Government says it will spend another $100 million to run the scheme until next year, while it ramps up the building of transitional and permanent housing.
Mr Farrelly says many of the homeless had been anxious they would be turned out into the streets as winter bites.
"So this is an incredible initiative from the Government. it's a watershed moment in addressing homelessness in New Zealand. So from this tragedy, we've taken this first step of temporarily housing people. Now we will be finding more permanent homes," he says.
The additional funding includes $31 million for wrap-around services, which is an acknowledgement of the high mental and physical needs that in some cases causes homelessness and for others, has been caused by homelessness.
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