Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Marae and refuges across NZ funded to house 3000 homeless

Manurewa Marae trustee Rangi McLean (left) with Rory Roy Toi Katipa, who is staying at the marae with his wife and four children because they are homeless. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Manurewa Marae trustee Rangi McLean (left) with Rory Roy Toi Katipa, who is staying at the marae with his wife and four children because they are homeless. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Marae, women's refuges and other social agencies have won funding to house 3000 homeless families and individuals a year in the latest government bid to tackle the housing crisis.

The Salvation Army is the biggest single winner from the first bidding round for emergency housing funding announced in the May Budget, winning just over $1 million of the $3.5 million allocated for this financial year - all for existing services such as Epsom Lodge in Auckland.

Auckland's long-established James Liston Hostel, which is badly in need of maintenance, gets the next-biggest sum of $395,000.

But the next two biggest grants are both for new services - $342,000 to fund 73 families and individuals at Manurewa Marae, and $282,000 for Kaitaia-based He Korowai Trust which has bought the old Kaitaia Hotel and refurbished 35 rooms for the homeless.

Manurewa Marae trustee Rangi McLean said the marae was already sheltering 99 people, in addition to three families in temporary housing which was relocated on to the site in July.

"We are at capacity because we just haven't got any more room," he said.

"We know for a fact that there are still more out there in our community because we have had to turn them away."

Since the marae opened its doors to the homeless in late July, he said it had taken in 168 people, including 79 children.

Sixty-nine have been placed so far into more permanent housing, including state houses, private rentals and moving in with family members - some as far afield as Rotorua and Whakatane.

He Korowai Trust chief executive Ricky Houghton said he already had a waiting list for the 35 rooms in the old Kaitaia Hotel, which will become available next week after the Fire Service signs off the last clearance required.

"They include people who are in jail because they have got no bail address. They can't go home and can't go anywhere because they have no credible address," he said.

He said the trust borrowed the money to buy the hotel last year for $1.6 million, and Sky City funded the refurbishment using furniture and fittings from the Sky City Grand Hotel in Auckland.

The trust has moved its offices into the building and has created a social service hub there including Te Puni Kokiri and Dr Lance O'Sullivan's medical clinic.

It has also bought a former McDonald's site next door which it is using to train 50 young unemployed people to work for Fulton Hogan in Auckland on major infrastructure projects.

Women's refuges around the country have been given $257,000 a year to support 213 women and their children. Chief executive Dr Ang Jury said the money would pay only a small part of the refuges' total costs, but would be "a useful help".

At the other end of the scale, Ranui Baptist Community Care in West Auckland receives $39,000 a year to house six families and individuals. Chairman Peter King said it would enable the church to rent two houses on terms which are being negotiated with Housing NZ.

"This is new, we haven't done this before," he said.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the national total of $3.5 million a year would fund emergency places for 758 families and individuals at any one time, or 3032 a year on the basis that people would stay for only three months before finding permanent housing.

She said 87 of the new places were new. The other 671 places are existing facilities which have not previously been state-funded for emergency housing.

Total places funded fell slightly short of indicative numbers originally announced in May - 315 places in Auckland compared with a target of 360, and 435 elsewhere compared with a targeted 440.

Who's funded

Te Tii Waitangi B3 Trust (3)
Waitomo Papakainga Development Society Inc Kaitaia (13)
He Korowai Trust Kaitaia (35)
Te Runanga O Whaingaroa Kaeo (7)
Women's Refuge (24)
Ngati Hine Health Trust Whangarei (2)
Te Tai Tokerau Emergency Housing Charitable Trust Whangarei (7)

De Paul House North Shore (12 places)
Women's Refuge (38)
James Liston Hostel Freeman's Bay (42)
Salvation Army Epsom Lodge (84)
Te Manawanui Trust Mt Roskill (4)
Island Child Charitable Trust Pt England (4)
Manurewa Marae (73)
Te Roopu O Te Whanau Rangimarie O Tamaki Makaurau Mangere (26)
Monte Cecilia Housing Trust Mangere (12)
Whanau Resource Centre Pukekohe (4)
Total Healthcare Charitable Trust - Gandhi Nivas Otahuhu (6)
Lifewise Trust and Airedale Property Trust Oratia (4)
Ranui Baptist Community Care (6)

Salvation Army Hamilton (5)
Te Whakaruruhau Refuge Hamilton (10)
Women's Refuge (4)

Bay of Plenty
Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Tauranga (3)
Ngati Awa Social and Health Services Trust Whakatane (2)
Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust Opotiki (7)
Salvation Army Tokoroa (1)
Women's Refuge (15)

East Coast
Salvation Army Napier (8)
Women's Refuge (15)
Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou Gisborne (2)

Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki Inc New Plymouth (2)
Women's Refuge (12)

Salvation Army Palmerston North (5)
Women's Refuge (8)

Koaunui Marae Lower Hutt (4)
Wellington Night Shelter (22)
Salvation Army Wellington, Porirua (15)
Women's Refuge (31)

Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast
Salvation Army Nelson (2)
Women's Refuge (13)

Comcare Charitable Trust (10)
Salvation Army Christchurch (88)
Christchurch Methodist Central Mission (4)
Women's Refuge (17)

Salvation Army Invercargill (13)
Women's Refuge (26)

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 22 Oct 2016 23:13:15 Processing Time: 349ms