Housing Minister Phil Twyford has praised the progress of a service aiming to find permanent homes for Tauranga's most chronic homeless.

The People's Project opened its doors a month ago after securing a Ministry of Social Development contract as part of the Government's $42 million investment in rolling out Housing First projects in the regions.

Yesterday Twyford toured the project's Grey St office, speaking to staff about Tauranga's "acute homelessness problem".

He said the group and its partners were doing "amazing work" and he was encouraged by early successes such as finding permanent rental homes for three clients.

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The People's Project service manager Simone Cuers said they raised issues with the minister around housing supply in Tauranga - particularly one to two-bedroom units under $280 a week.

They also discussed the complexity of issues clients were facing, how to resource early interventions, partnership opportunities, and their contract criteria that only allowed them to take on people who had been rough sleeping for 12 months or more as clients.

They invited him to return in six months.

A Ministry of Social Development spokesperson said in the last financial year the Government spent just over $7m on tackling homelessness through housing services in the Bay of Plenty, as well as $10m on transitional housing in Tauranga, plus additional costs for last resort emergency housing grants.


People's Project - one month in

- 87 people seen
- 37 eligible to become clients
- 3 housed
- 10 in emergency accommodation
- 17 getting help with rental applications

Source: The People's Project