Addressing homelessness is a high priority for the city centre. At the last street count, there were 177 people sleeping rough within three kilometres of the Sky Tower.
One of the key initiatives aiming to end homelessness in Auckland is the Housing First programme, which was established in early 2017 as a two year pilot. Housing First works to end homelessness by getting people experiencing chronic homelessness into secure housing before addressing issues such as addiction and mental health. This model has been successful in other countries and in Hamilton, which was the first New Zealand city to initiate the programme. The Housing First collective has been contracted to house 572 chronically homeless people in Auckland in its first two years.
By the end of March 2019, the total number of adults housed was 512, of which 83 were from the city centre.
What else is happening
Other initiatives in place for supporting homelessness in Auckland City include:
- Emergency housing is available near the city centre at James Liston Hostel, which has been renovated using City Centre Targeted Rate funding and now offers 52 beds.
- 80 new studio and one bedroom apartments will be available for the city's homeless with Auckland City Mission's redevelopment project, Mission HomeGround which is due for completion in 2020.
- Homeless outreach services are provided by the Auckland City Mission under contract to Auckland Council
- The Community Fridge at Griffiths gardens
- Heart of the City's Street Guardians programme which addresses begging in the city centre and involves a number of people from the city centre street community.
- The CityWatch programme helps keep city centre footpaths and public places safe, clean and without obstruction or intimidation.
For more discussion about homelessness in Auckland and the Housing First model, watch the Auckland Conversation on Homelessness here, read an insight into the experience of rough sleeping in central Auckland here or watch the wonderful video below.
To achieve the goal of ending homeless in Auckland, more action including significant funding is needed. We welcomed the government's announcement in May that it would be investing a further $197 million over four years to strengthen the Housing First programme, including providing further support for the city centre. There is also a role for businesses to get involved with this issue.
If you have any questions, concerns or ideas - talk to us
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss homelessness in Auckland's city centre.
The CityWatch team is able to help with moving on anyone causing a public nuisance and or disorderly behaviour on public property.