So let me get this right… these people want to live in a rental, so they can afford rent, but they are instead living in a car, or in a garage. So why are the government now going to pay for motel rooms?
Some of Auckland’s homeless may be put up in motels thanks to a $2 million funding boost for the city’s emergency housing.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the extra money would fund up to 120 places a year for homeless families and individuals, with support to help them find longer-term housing.
West Auckland’s VisionWest Community Trust asked for extra help in June after running a successful pilot in Christchurch, where the Government has funded the agency to lease a 19-unit motel to house homeless families for up to eight weeks while social workers help them to find permanent accommodation.
At the end of June there were 941 Auckland households on the social housing waiting list in category A, described as “at risk and including households with a severe and persistent housing need that must be addressed immediately”.
Data provided to Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni showed that 50 households on the waiting list nationally were living in cars and another 137 in garages.
A spokesman for Mrs Bennett said a request for proposals to provide the extra 120 emergency housing places in Auckland would be issued early next week with the aim of having the new places available by early next year.
The timing implies that agencies are most likely to respond by leasing existing accommodation such as motels, but the spokesman said the money could also be used for capital spending to upgrade or convert other properties.
“The Government is open to what the providers tell us they need,” he said.
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