This report outlines what emergency housing providers do and identifies emerging and promising practices based on interviews with providers in early 2017.
In 2016, the Emergency Housing Funding Model was launched as a response to addressing homelessness in New Zealand, and providing more certainty to providers who were already supporting households in need with emergency housing.
This Emergency Housing Exploratory Study, January-February 2017 was carried out shortly after the launch of the Emergency Housing Funding Model and was aimed at better understanding the service emergency housing providers were providing, including common challenges and successes that could be mitigated or built on respectively.
The findings are drawn from face-to-face interviews with 23 representatives from 16 housing providers in Auckland, Christchurch and the Bay of Plenty. The interviews took place between 24 January and 16 February 2017.
Since the Study, MSD and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development have implemented a number of changes to the emergency and transitional housing systems and processes, partly in response to the interviews. These changes include:
- clearer referral processes, including Operational Guidelines, which set out the criteria for identifying when an emergency housing need exists, the referral process and the eligibility criteria
- fully funded services, based on the resources the housing provider requires
- use of the term Transitional Housing to distinguish short-term (12 week) housing services.
- the use of security deposits, to ensure households take the right level of responsibility for their tenancy
- connecting providers with Housing New Zealand to help secure permanent housing
- funding to cover costs of repair and methamphetamine decontamination where this is not covered by the security deposit or the provider’s insurance
- working with providers to understand the diversity of clients’ needs and circumstances to ensure appropriate services are available for households
- facilitating Transitional Housing provider forums around the country and, where previously not in place, helping to establish and strengthen networks between providers
- ensuring households that have remained in commercial accommodation for long periods are prioritised for referral to transitional housing providers and other appropriate support services
- a clear policy on how to prioritise homeless people.