The Government's plan to address chronic homelessness around the country through the Wellbeing Budget has been welcomed by those working on the front line.

But it is not a "quick fix", or a silver bullet.

General manager of Whatever it Takes Napier Caroline Lampp says there is no doubt there is a need for that kind of investment, but even with a big injection of money, it can't be fixed quickly because it's about supply.

"We need to temper our enthusiasm with the fact that it is still going to be a while yet before there are enough houses for everybody."


The Government announced on Thursday it would be investing an extra $197 million over four years in the Housing First initiative to address homelessness.

The programme will reach 2700 homeless people and help get them into permanent homes.

Currently, Hawke's Bay is experiencing a housing crisis with 661 people in Napier and Hastings on Housing New Zealand's waiting list and 440 children living in motels in Hawke's Bay in emergency housing.

Lampp says people in the region are struggling.

Research by the University of Otago found that chronically homeless people have high mental health needs.

"The Housing First programme understands that it is easier for people to address their issues once they have a home.

"That's why they house them, then support them to address their issues by connecting them with services, such as counselling and addiction treatment, helping them to keep their homes and avoid ending up back on the streets.

"Housing and having somewhere secure, warm, dry and safe is a pretty basic need and if you haven't got that, it does exacerbate any other problems that you might already have or can lead to those sorts of problems."


Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says Housing First has housed 720 households, including 431 children in Auckland, since 2017.

"It is now helping house long-term homeless people in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Tauranga and Rotorua and will launch in Northland, Hawke's Bay, Nelson/Blenheim and Wellington later this year."