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Auckland Council’s Role in Addressing Homelessness.

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Parity, 30(8), 32-33

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This article by Auckland Council's Community Empowerment Unit and Community and Social Policy Teams delves into the growing issue of homelessness in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

The report highlights that rapid population growth and a significant housing shortage have exacerbated homelessness, affecting a diverse group of individuals and families, including those employed. Based on data from Statistics New Zealand and Auckland City Mission, the report underscores a notable increase in homelessness across the Auckland region. The Council acknowledges the multifaceted nature of homelessness, influenced by structural and individual factors such as economic conditions, health and social services access, and national policy settings. Particular attention is given to the disproportionate impact on low-income households, children, sole parent families, Pacific people, Māori, and other vulnerable groups. In response, the Auckland Council has adopted a proactive and aspirational approach, aiming to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. This commitment is to be realised through the development of a regional strategy for homelessness, aligning with The Auckland Plan’s priorities for affordable housing. The report discusses various initiatives and responses by the Council, including the support for the Housing First model, a philosophy that prioritises housing as a basic human right. The Council’s investment in this approach, through funding and partnerships with social housing providers, aims to support chronically homeless individuals and families. Additionally, the report mentions the Council’s initiatives to enhance public amenities and support emergency housing facilities. The Council also actively engages in multi-agency collabourations to address rough sleeping and homelessness more effectively. The article concludes by emphasising the need for a coordinated, cross-sectoral strategy involving various stakeholders, including government, non-government organisations, and the private sector. This strategy is envisioned to not only address the immediate needs of the homeless population but also to prevent and end all forms of homelessness in Auckland.

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