Hang on a minute…

So let me get this right? these people want to live in a rental, so they can afford rent, but they are instead living in a car, or in a garage. ??So why are the government now going to pay for motel rooms? ?

Some of Auckland’s homeless may be put up in motels thanks to a $2 million funding boost for the city’s emergency housing.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett said the extra money would fund up to 120 places a year for homeless families and individuals, with support to help them find longer-term housing.

West Auckland’s VisionWest Community Trust asked for extra help in June after running a successful pilot in Christchurch, where the Government has funded the agency to lease a 19-unit motel to house homeless families for up to eight weeks while social workers help them to find permanent accommodation.

At the end of June there were 941 Auckland households on the social housing waiting list in category A, described as “at risk and including households with a severe and persistent housing need that must be addressed immediately”.

Data provided to Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni showed that 50 households on the waiting list nationally were living in cars and another 137 in garages.

A spokesman for Mrs Bennett said a request for proposals to provide the extra 120 emergency housing places in Auckland would be issued early next week with the aim of having the new places available by early next year.

The timing implies that agencies are most likely to respond by leasing existing accommodation such as motels, but the spokesman said the money could also be used for capital spending to upgrade or convert other properties.

“The Government is open to what the providers tell us they need,” he said.

Rent or motel rooms – same difference. ?You can negotiate a week or month rate where they don?t change towels and sheets for a week, and you get a decent discount that will be close to what you?d pay in rent anyway. ??

So instead of the Government paying, why not have these people pay?

But an agency working with Auckland’s homeless, Lifewise, said homeless people needed permanent homes, not just temporary ones.

General manager Moira Lawler said the agency struggled to find homes for people because of the city’s housing shortage.

“We currently have over 90 people who are ready to be housed, but we have nowhere to put them,” she said.

“Those most affected by Auckland’s housing crisis are our most vulnerable – people who end up sleeping in over-crowded garages, on people’s couches and under bridges when they can’t afford a rental.”

She said housing people permanently was more cost-effective than supporting them on the streets.

“Emergency visits, hospital stays, temporary shelter and going through the justice system all snowball into huge costs to New Zealand taxpayers,” she said.

“Transitional housing and motel accommodation offers shelter for our most vulnerable, but it’s not the answer to ending homelessness in New Zealand. Homeless people need permanent homes.”

I think there would be more housing available if Housing NZ turfed out all the single people living in 3 and four bedroom homes that they think are theirs because they’ve lived there for 40 years. Those houses are needed for families, and you have to ask what has happened after a lifetime of living on?the?state with subsidised rents that they haven’t made some savings.