Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Govt unveils emergency housing plan

Photo: Nick Reed
Photo: Nick Reed

Emergency housing has been given what appears to be a huge boost to cope with Auckland's ballooning housing crisis.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says the May 26 Budget will fund 3000 emergency housing places every year, believed to represent about 750 beds given an average stay of about three months.

This compares with only 99 places registered on the Social Development Ministry's existing emergency housing database in Auckland, which is likely to include about half the national total.

She said the Government would also fund a new emergency housing Special Needs Grant to support individuals and families with the cost of emergency housing for up to seven days if they are unable to access a contracted place.

The two measures will cost $41.1 million over the next four years, or an average of about $10.3 million a year.

They follow the first ever review of emergency housing over the past year in a field which has been traditionally left to charity.

The Government is expected to call for tenders for agencies to provide the new beds, with contracts expected to be in place by September.

- NZ Herald

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