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Outcomes for Māori clients in the housing first programme in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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International Journal of Population Data Science, 7(3),

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This study evaluates the backgrounds and outcomes of formerly homeless Māori clients participating in Aotearoa New Zealand's inaugural Housing First programme, conducted by The People’s Project in Kirikiriroa.

Utilising the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) administered by Tatauranga Aotearoa Statistics New Zealand, the research provides an extensive examination of the life course and outcomes of these individuals, comparing them to non-Māori clients and the general population from 2014 to 2017. The IDI’s linked microdata facilitated analysis across health, justice, social development, and income sectors, revealing significant disparities. The findings highlight systematic barriers impeding Māori access to services, resulting in less favourable outcomes compared to their non-Māori counterparts, particularly in health-related aspects. Despite similar employment rates between Māori and non-Māori clients post-housing, income disparities were evident, with Māori earning less. Additionally, Māori clients experienced higher rates of victimisation and were more likely to be charged per offense. The study underscores the necessity of implementing homelessness intervention programmes like Housing First within a broader systemic change framework. Addressing the root causes of inequities is essential for these interventions to be truly effective for populations adversely affected by systemic disparities. This research contributes critical insights into the efficacy of Housing First programmes in Aotearoa New Zealand, with implications for policy and practice aimed at alleviating homelessness among indigenous populations.

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