National commits $41 million funding for emergency housing

Kaikoura news
Monday, May 9, 2016

The Marlborough region will benefit from the Government’s multimillion-dollar dedicated funding for emergency housing for those in need, says local MP Stuart Smith.

“I am delighted by the Government’s announcement that Budget 2016 allocates more than $41 million over the next four years for emergency housing and non-recoverable Special Needs Grants.

“Emergency housing can provide an essential safety net for people suffering personal or family crisis. The National-led Government is committed to supporting families and individuals who may have complex needs,” Mr Smith says

The funding fulfils a commitment National made to provide better access to emergency housing for our most vulnerable citizens who may be homeless, or victims of domestic violence.

The funding will enable the Ministry of Social Development to contract non-government organisations to provide about 3,000 emergency housing places each year around New Zealand. People can be housed for up to three months. There will also be a new emergency housing Special Needs Grant to support individuals and families with the cost of emergency housing for up to seven days if they are unable to access one of the contracted places. This grant will not have to be paid back.

It is expected that about 800 individuals and families will be able to access a contracted emergency housing place at any one time. Although numbers are yet to be finalised, it is expected that Auckland will get around 360 places, Canterbury around 100, larger centres about 60 and smaller centres around 30, all split evenly between individuals and  families.

Next month, the Ministry of Social Development will seek proposals from potential providers interested in delivering the contracted emergency housing places, with the first contracts expected to be in place by September. The Special Needs Grant will also be available from September.