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Monte Cecilia helps families looking for place to call home

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will cut the ribbon today (10 October) on new temporary housing for Auckland families in need.

The Monte Cecilia Housing Trust has built 30 two-bedroom units in Mangere to accommodate families who need further assistance to find affordable rental homes.

Today’s official opening coincides with World Homeless Day.

Monte Cecilia Chief Executive Bernie Smith says families are able to live in the units for up to three months while the Trust works with them to find somewhere long-term to call home.

Eleven families have already moved in – and Bernie Smith says many more are knocking on Monte Cecilia’s doors. In the past year alone, more than 1600 children and their families turned to the Trust for help.

“There is such a huge need in Auckland for safe, warm, dry housing that families can actually afford. Many of the families that come to us are working really hard on minimum wage and with lots of commitments, sometimes they have big debts, and they haven’t been able to get a rental despite trying for a long time. They really need a hand.”

He says having somewhere secure and settled to live makes a world of difference.

“Once they’re living in these units we’ll be able to give them some practical assistance to help them out of the crisis situation they’re in. When that happens, in our experience we usually see dramatic improvements in a family’s well-being as they’re put in touch with the health and social services they’ve often been missing out on.

“We all know that having a home is more than just a roof over our heads – it’s a place for family and friends, somewhere we feel safe and comfortable, where we can plan for our future and that of our whānau.”

Bernie Smith thanked the Prime Minister for opening the transitional housing development in Windrush Close, Mangere. The opening will feature an address from the Prime Minister, speeches by other guests and dignitaries, a site blessing and cutting of the ribbon to the site.

Media are invited to attend the opening.

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