Tauranga is set to have $2.5 million invested into emergency housing to help tackle the city's homelessness problem.

This comes as Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford yesterday announced a $100m investment to help support people in urgent need of housing this winter throughout New Zealand.

Tauranga was among several regions in line to receive a share of $20.5m, and one local support agency said it was a step towards ending homelessness in Tauranga.

Read more: Soldier accosted while collecting for Poppy Day in Tauranga
School principals fight to buck statistics for Tauranga's poor
Stories flood in about problem begging in Greerton


"We're pulling out all the stops ... We're also investing heavily in the future of the Housing First programme to support our most vulnerable homeless people and families," Twyford said.

The Ministry of Social Development will work with providers and communities with a $37m investment to urgently increase housing supply this winter.

"By the end of winter, we will have more than 1500 additional transitional, public and Housing First places, compared to the end of last year," he said.

The Government had earmarked $63.4m of new operating spending in Budget 2018 to expand and sustain Housing First services for more than 1450 households over the next four years.

Of that spending, $20.5m was set to boost funding for ongoing services for more than 900 households in the Housing First programme in Auckland, Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Lower Hutt.

A further $42.9m would be allocated to expand the Housing First programme to a further 550 households in other regions.

"Housing First is a programme for the most vulnerable people and families; those who are really struggling with long-term homelessness or facing multiple and complex needs. It aims to end homelessness, not just manage it," Twyford said.

"Homelessness is the sharp end of the national housing crisis which was created over the past decade. New Zealand needs more houses, and we're working on this.


"In the meantime, our Government will make sure everyone is helped to find warm, dry housing this winter, and our most vulnerable people and families get the intensive help they need."

Tommy Wilson of Te Tuinga Whanau Social Services Trust said the organisation was celebrating the announcement, given winter was "knocking on the door".

He said the investment showed the Government was listening that there was a crisis, but it was the community who played the largest role in assisting change within society.

"We care for the homeless in our community; we need to know our Government cares about us. This is a Government that listens," he said.

Wilson said the trust would be putting a proposal forward for consideration of funding which would help to continue the work that was already being done.

"We've helped 70 families in the last 12 months transition into permanent housing, and most of them have gone into the private rental sector."

Wilson said through the 12-week programme the trust offered, people in need were being taught the skills that helped them to become good renters.

"We are helping to fix families up, so they don't need to come back to us, and it works," he said.

Accessible Properties chief executive Greg Orchard was pleased by the Government's commitment to providing an additional $2.5m investment for emergency housing in Tauranga.

"We are encouraged by the Government's commitment to work long-term and in partnership with community housing providers to tackle New Zealand's housing crisis," he said.

"We speak to people all over the country who are in need for good, warm, dry homes and we welcome any moves to make a difference in people's lives."

Scott Gallacher, deputy chief executive of housing at the Ministry of Social Development, said the ministry was working on a range of options for more transitional housing, public housing and Housing First places in Tauranga.

"We will bring on at least 26 more transitional housing places by the end of winter 2018, with work already under way.

"We are exploring further options to do more with providers in Tauranga. Over a year, these additional 26 transitional housing places will provide short-term housing and support for 104 households – single people, couples or families."

"We provide short-term housing of this kind for people while we work with them to find more permanent housing.