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National strategy needed to end homelessness

Social agency state national strategy needed to end homelessness

Social development agency Lifewise are disappointed that the Government has rejected a national inquiry into homelessness, stating that government leadership on the issue is urgently needed.

“If we’re serious about ending homelessness we need a national strategy,” says Moira Lawler, Lifewise Chief Executive. “Homelessness is now affecting every major town and city in New Zealand. More than 41,000 New Zealanders are severely housing deprived, and rough sleeping is only one part of a much larger issue.”

Homelessness is a complex issue that requires central and local government, and the business and community sectors to work together. Lifewise highlight the importance of using the available research and evidence on the issue, to agree upon approaches that have a good chance of success.

“Immediate responses like emergency housing are part of the big picture, but pouring resources into emergency beds only gives people a few nights of safety,” says Moira. “It’s not good enough. We desperately need to provide people with rapid entry into stable housing and where necessary, the wrap-around supports that give them the best chance to live independently and well.”

A national strategy is what a government develops when an issue is important enough to require a joined up response, and homelessness is an important enough issue to warrant this.

ENDS

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