The Housing Auckland's Homeless policy focuses on working with the Government and NGOs to reduce, and work to eliminate, the number of people sleeping on the city's streets.
There are many organisations in Auckland - including the Housing First collective of five different housing agencies – that are doing exceptional work, day and night, to help those who are sleeping rough.
Phil Goff wants Auckland to be an inclusive city where no one is forced to sleep rough or in vehicles or emergency accommodation because no alternatives are open to them. Auckland needs to look after our most vulnerable and remove the blight of homelessness from our streets.
Through Housing First, Auckland Council will ensure that central and local government and non-government and voluntary agencies work together to resolve the problem of homelessness. We will continue, and strengthen Council's, efforts to achieve this. Auckland Council will also actively promote the building of more social housing for low-income Aucklanders, which has already been lifted to a further 3500 state houses for Auckland in the next three years. It will also work to increase the overall Auckland house build to ensure that the supply of housing keeps up with demand, to tackle housing shortages and the affordability problems which arise from that.
Auckland Council would both continue to and provide further support to the following initiatives, to get people into permanent housing and to support them to stay there:
- Work to identify every rough sleeper individually (By name list) identifying the factors contributing to their homelessness and putting in place a plan tailored to their needs and to finding them a home. This initiative will be developed by Housing First and will be critical to ensure that individuals get the outreach services and help they need.
- Work with Government to set numerical targets for getting rough sleepers off the streets and into homes.
- Work with government to put a fence at the top of the cliff approach to prevent people becoming homeless, rather than have an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach. This means mechanisms to ensure people released from hospitals, mental health facilities and prisons are not put out into the community with nowhere to live.
- Working with the Auckland City Mission to provide targeted assistance to at risk women who are sleeping rough.
Homeless women are particularly vulnerable to violence and sexual assault. Council will support the City Mission in the development of its programmes in this area.
- Support Heart of the City in its Street Guardians programme to provide constructive alternatives to begging. Begging is not synonymous with homelessness and needs a different response. Heart of the City has successfully initiated a pilot programme involving up to 150 people who have voluntarily worked on community projects rather than begging. Council will work with Heart of the City to find ways to expand the programme and make it permanent.