Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Council puts its homelessness strategy to work

10 September 2019

Hutt City Council has moved quickly to put its Homelessness Strategy into action with the first families now receiving council-funded services.

Two months after funding was approved, Council has finalised a contract with local social service agency, the Tuatahi Centre, which is assisting homeless families into the fiercely competitive private rental market – a market lower-income and vulnerable households often find themselves excluded from.

Tuatahi Centre has a track record of working with landlords and investors to establish and support its clients into sustainable tenancies. It is also in the process of becoming a registered Community Housing Provider, enabling it to provide a high standard of housing at affordable rents.

Council is also finalising a contract with Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley to provide housing advice and advocacy for those experiencing homelessness or housing hardship. This service is expected to start in October. In addition, Council is now considering proposals from social service agencies to provide services that help families and individuals at risk of losing their tenancies from becoming homeless.

Council has allocated $1.6 million over three years to implement the Homelessness Strategy. It will be reviewed after three years.

Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller says Lower Hutt’s social service organisations, its health professionals, teachers, those who have found themselves homeless as well as concerned citizens were critical to identifying the extent and the impact of homelessness and in developing the strategy.

“Homelessness and housing hardship are a source of immense misery and lost opportunities for too many of our people – especially our children. It puts great pressure on our health services and schools, and it has a negative impact on the city’s economy,” she says.

“So this is far more than an issue for central government to figure out. It’s happening in our city, in our neighbourhoods, to our people so we all need to come together as one to solve this complex and devastating problem.”

Tuatahi Centre Operations Centre Manager Awhina Vailima says the centre has seen a disturbing rise in demand for its services, especially in the past year.

“The profile of homelessness has shifted significantly and the outlook for these vulnerable families has become increasingly worrisome and concerning.”

Most of the centre’s client families are living in overcrowded conditions or those who have been placed in emergency accommodation such as motels. The rising cost of private rentals is the main cause of housing hardship and homelessness, she says.

While the centre has worked successfully with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, investors, private landlords and social services to support and place vulnerable families in homes, its impending registration as a community housing provider will add considerably to its capacity to offer affordable, quality housing.

The Homelessness Strategy followed a year of research and engagement with a broad range of NGOs, government agencies and local community, health and education organisations. It showed homelessness and housing hardship in the city have increased over the past 12 years and it has become more difficult to get people into suitable and affordable homes.

The strategy and its accompanying action plan focuses on homelessness prevention, filling some of the service gaps identified, and working in conjunction with current government services.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s, when complaints were commonly being levelled at RNZ’s Morning Report programme, largely by National MPs discomfited by being interviewed by Kim Hill.

The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>


Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>

National In China: Bridges Praises CCP, Meets Law Enforcement Head

A recent trip to China has raised questions over who the Opposition leader Simon Bridges met with and why... Anne-Marie Brady, a Canterbury University professor and expert on Chinese politics, has described Guo Shengkun as the leader of the Chinese secret police. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The SIS/GCSB’s Compliance With Torture

Torture is a crime under international law. New Zealand has signed (a) the UN convention against torture and (b) formal agreements about how armed conflict should be conducted. That’s the legal backdrop to the fascinating report released this week by the SIS Inspector-General.





InfoPages News Channels