Government called on to include Māori social service organisations in homelessness strategy
A Māori social services organisation Kahungunu ki Pōneke Whānau Services is welcoming the government's plan to tackle homelessness but their CEO, Ali Hamlin-Paenga has some concerns over who will deliver services and also whether or not the people who will receive the services to assist them with homelessness, will have an autonomous voice of their own. Hamlin-Paenga advocates that government agencies need to consider Māori social service organisations as a part of the homelessness strategy.
“My concerns will be around who is at the table to deliver this work, and also the consideration that they're going to take of the people who we're supposedly supporting. They must have a say and have an ability to feed into what happens to them.”
The government has committed $100-million to combat the housing crisis. However, Community Housing NZ CEO, Scott Figenshow, says that that there needs to be consistent support long-term for the plan across the various parties in parliament.
“We need some real cross party and cross government support. Housing is always going to take us a long time, and so we need to some real consistency in approach, consistent in long term investment.”
In addition to government and whānau services organisations, Figenshow says now is an opportunity for private landlords to help ease the housing shortage as well.
“We know that Housing New Zealand by itself doesn't have enough vacant homes to house people, community housing providers even though they're adding a lot of new supply, again don't have a lot of spare homes just waiting around so we've got to be working with private landlords as well.”