11 Jun 2020

Covid response reveals hidden homelessness. Calls for national strategy

From Nine To Noon, 9:30 am on 11 June 2020
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Photo: RNZ

The true extent of Kiwis in insecure housing was exposed during the Covid 19 response leading to calls for a national homelessness strategy and to make housing a legal right. During the lockdown New Zealand sheltered its homesless and since then $100 million has been pledged to keep 1,200 motel rooms available for the homeless for a year. This follows an earlier move in February to try to curb the use of motels for emergency housing with a $300 million dollar action plan, but advocates argue there should be more emphasis on permanent solutions and it should be a legal requirement to house people.

Lynn Freeman talks to Clare Aspinall at the University of Otago in Wellington who is currently researching the benefits and challenges of using the Housing First approach in a New Zealand context, Massey University 's societal psychologist Darrin Hodgetts whose research focuses on urban poverty and homelessness, and Rolinda Karapu from the Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research centre who is a senior advocate based at Waikato Women's Refuge.