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New Zealand’s cross-party inquiry into homelessness.

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Parity, 29(8), 13-14

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This article discusses the alarming rate of homelessness in New Zealand, highlighting the findings from the 2013 census which indicated a significant increase in homelessness since 2001.

It emphasises the overrepresentation of Pacific, Māori, and Asian groups in the homeless population. The source details a cross-party inquiry into homelessness in New Zealand, which was coordinated by the Labour, Māori, and Green Parties. The inquiry focused on re-evaluating the official definition of homelessness, assessing the scale and causes of change in homelessness rates, and evaluating possible policy responses. Community Housing Aotearoa’s submission to the inquiry is a central part of this source. The submission advocates for a nationwide implementation of a Housing First policy, emphasising the need for emergency housing funding and a re-evaluation of the needs assessment process. It proposes a commissioning/social procurement approach that includes providers in all stages of development, implementation, and contracting. The submission also stresses the importance of adapting Housing First approaches to meet diverse cultural needs, particularly for Māori. The article discusses the additional funding allocated by the New Zealand Government for emergency housing in 2016 and the need for a long-term, sustainable approach to tackle homelessness. It argues for the necessity of a national housing plan recognizing secure housing as a basic human right. The source ends with a call for a collaborative effort involving the government, local governments, emergency housing providers, community housing groups, the private sector, and various service sectors to work together in implementing effective solutions for homelessness.

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