29 Jul 2016

Government provides $9m extra for those struggling to find housing

12:13 pm on 29 July 2016

The Government is making a further $9 million available to community organisations working with the homeless or people struggling to find housing.

A group of people begging on Auckland's Queen Street.

A group of people begging on Queen Street in Auckland. Photo: RNZ/ Diego Opatowski

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the flexible fund was to help people find suitable accommodation, as it was clear simply finding a bed for the homeless was not enough.

The money was not just for housing, she said.

"This funding will ensure that community organisations - working alongside central and local government - will be able to tackle the causes of homelessness, from employment, through to health factors like addiction and mental health issues."

There were two main initiatives.

The first was $6 million for Better Housing Outcomes - a range of solutions to prevent homelessness by working with social housing tenants who were at risk of eviction.

The remaining $3 million was for Housing First, that first moves people into housing and then provides support to address the issues underpinning their homelessness.

Up to $1 million of the Better Housing Outcomes fund would support some families who could either look towards home ownership or were able to move into a private rental and free up social housing.

The fund should help about 2000 people over the next two years, Mrs Bennett said.