18 May 2016

Where do homeless go when help runs out?

3:04 pm on 18 May 2016

Charities say the emergency housing funds the government has announced fail to address the long-term problems of homeless people.

Earlier this month the government said it would fund 3000 emergency housing places that are currently paid for by charities and other agencies.

Making the announcement, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said about half of the 3000 beds funded would be in Auckland.

But Auckland City Mission's acting chief executive, Jacki Richardson, said while the funding was welcome, it would create a bottleneck of demand when people's stays in emergency accommodation expired.

"We are concerned then after the emergency housing period, which the minister talked about as being up to 12 weeks - then what happens?

"If there's still no additional housing come on line for people after that period, do they just return to their previous situation, whether that's a car or the park or a garage or wherever they came from?"

Ms Richardson said the government did not appear to have a homeless strategy.

The Coalition to End Homelessness said New Zealand was one of the few developed countries that did not have such a plan.

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