Auckland's homeless crisis is easing with the help of the Government's $100 million intervention package but is not yet over, support workers say.

Three hundred and thirty-six people were recently found living in the city without shelter as part of Auckland's Homeless Count on September 17, with organisers then estimating the true number to be more like 800 people.

A further 2874 people - including 1299 children - were also in temporary houses or emergency accommodation.

The numbers were less than some had expected, with estimates of Auckland's homeless population before the count often putting the number in the thousands and labelling the situation a "crisis".


It comes as a Government intervention to get as many people as possible off the streets over winter met most of the goals it set to boost the number of transitional and state houses available.

Housing First Collective chief executive Fiona Hamilton agreed this had been a help, but said the number of people still on the streets or in temporary houses was "significant".

"For a couple of decades ... we haven't invested in social housing and we haven't acknowledged homelessness, now there is a commitment to do something," she said.

"But it is a big ship to turn around – it takes time to create the housing we need."

It follows on from the Government's promise in May to pump $100 million into tackling homelessness.

Housing First Collective chief executive Fiona Hamilton says there are still a significant number of people living on the streets. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Housing First Collective chief executive Fiona Hamilton says there are still a significant number of people living on the streets. Photo / Brett Phibbs

This included $63.4 million to expand and provide ongoing cash to support the Housing First programme - which puts chronically homeless people into permanent housing - and $37m to be spent during the winter to urgently increase housing supply.

Using this cash, the Government promised to deliver - in comparison to the end of 2017 - an additional 416 transitional housing places, 50 Tauranga and Christchurch Housing First places and 1071 public housing places by the end of last month.

It ended up delivering 684 additional transitional housing places - 268 above its target - while falling just short of its other goals with 33 additional Housing First homes delivered in Tauranga and Christchurch and 1047 additional public housing tenancies.

It also provided 1144 Auckland families and tenants with 4099 grants valued at almost $6m during the June quarter, allowing them to pay for emergency housing in places of their choosing, such as motels.

Hamilton said "it was fair to say" the Government's efforts - and those of the Housing First Collective's members to find homes for 524 homeless people over the past year - had helped get a lot of people off the streets.

South Auckland's Te Puea Memorial Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis agreed progress was being made, saying there was now "better co-ordination" between the Government and groups providing support services.

He also praised the Government's newly built state houses, saying one mother of six - who originally come to the marae for help when her family was homeless - had told him her new state home was "beautiful".

However, chief executive of community housing developer Monte Cecilia Housing Trust, Bernie Smith, said the Government was not yet building enough social houses to get large numbers of people out of temporary accommodation.

This was being compounded by a growing number of people who found it hard to afford the price of renting in the open market, he said.

"It is getting harder and harder to find a suitable housing solution, which is an affordable housing solution," he said.

"Rents are increasing but salaries aren't keeping up with them."