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Community Law Welcomes Housing Support – More Needed

Community Law today welcomed the Government’s cross-agency package to address homelessness but warned that further work is needed to improve the complex processes used to address housing needs.

“Our 24 Community Law Centres are frequently supporting people who have inadequate housing or need emergency housing as a result of the legal issues they are grappling with, so the support announced today can’t come soon enough,” says Community Law Centres o Aotearoa CEO, Sue Moroney.

“By default, our lawyers have had to help people find housing while dealing with their legal issue. We hope the new housing broker service will step in to do this, so we can then focus on what we do best.”

“The wraparound support being extended to all those in emergency housing is a vast improvement from the previous system of putting people in motels, with only the motel manager to address their needs and hoping for the best,” says Sue.

“We hope the package means there will be a 25% of income cap on the debt people can incur from being in emergency housing, because that would also alleviate the debt-cycle that happens to people when they are at their most vulnerable.”

“We also look forward to seeing the detail about the housing support for those being deported from Australia, as we prepare to co-host a hui later this month on their plight,” says Sue. “The current gap is a recipe for disaster and it’s such a prevalent problem, we have called the hui “Nowhere To Go.”

Today’s package still does not address the complex, inconsistent and often bewildering processes people face when they need state housing support.

“This is a significant problem that Community Law’s clients face and we will continue to work with MSD and the Government to improve what they do.”

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