Homelessness “is much worse than previously thought”

NZH seems to have got a report that is to be released this morning in advance – Homeless crisis: 80% to 90% of homeless people turned away from emergency housing

New Zealand’s homelessness crisis is much worse than previously thought, as a new report identifies a hidden homeless population that is not officially monitored by government agencies.

More than 80 per cent of all homeless people turning up to community emergency housing providers in the last year were turned away because the system is bursting at the seams, according to an independent housing stocktake to be released today.

And the number of recorded homeless people without a safe and secure place to live is expected to rise significantly, as more struggling people are told that help is available and come out of the shadows.

The report, authored by economist Shamubeel Eaqub​, University of Otago Professor of Public Health Philippa Howden-Chapman and the Salvation Army’s Alan Johnson, will be released this morning by Housing Minister Phil Twyford.

The report is understood to bring together figures across a number of areas including homelessness, the rental market, housing affordability – including the rising costs relative to wage increases – and housing supply nationwide, with a specific focus on Auckland.

One of the report’s main focuses will be to highlight a hidden homeless population that is not officially monitored or recorded.

However, community emergency housing providers report they are at full capacity, and their data from last year indicate that for every 10 homeless people that approach them, eight to nine are turned away.​

The report will refer to a burgeoning “floating population” – people without safe and secure housing, including in temporary housing, sharing with another household, or living in uninhabitable places.

The report is understood to say that greater awareness of the issue, along with more information campaigns about where to get help, is expected to lead to reported homelessness getting worse.

The report is intended as analysis of the housing issue, and is not expected to make any recommendations for action.

Odd that the Herald keeps referring to “The report is understood to…” when they obviously either have a copy of the report (have they broken an embargo?) or have been provided with details.

The Government describes it as an independent stocktake of the housing crisis to help focus its work. But National’s housing spokesman Michael Woodhouse has call it a “smoke and mirrors” exercise to find the numbers to fit the Government’s narrative, when the housing market is “flat to falling”.

Politics aside, there is obviously a problem with homelessness and difficulties in finding suitable housing for many people.

Context box: Homelessness crisis

  • 8 to 9 out of every 10 homeless people turned away from emergency housing providers
  • Hidden homeless population with no official monitoring or recording
  • 1 in 100 live in severe housing deprivation in 2013 census, up from 1 in 120 in 2006 and 1 in 130 in 2001
  • Auckland Council says 23,409 in severe housing deprivation last year, up 3000 from the 2013 census
  • 7725 on state house waiting list, up 5 per cent from Sept quarter
  • MBIE figures show a nationwide shortfall of 71,000 houses; 45,000 in Auckland

Regardless of a report trying to detail and quantify the extent of the problems, the key is what the current Government can do to alleviate both homelessness and the wider housing shortage.

44 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  February 12, 2018

    This report is a crock. People who aren’t homeless have been categorised as such.

    • Blazer

       /  February 12, 2018

      no the report is accurate.National did not have the data,for the same reason they did not have the data on foreigners buying property….they didn’t want…the data.

      • PDB

         /  February 12, 2018

        It can’t be ‘accurate’ if the new ‘homeless’ are ‘hidden’ as they say.

      • Corky

         /  February 12, 2018

        An example was given on the radio. A young couple who are saving for their own home are staying with relatives. According to the report they are ”homeless.”

        I guess it boils down to what you consider homeless. The example above isn’t what I consider homelessness.

        What was the terms of reference for this report?

    • PartisanZ

       /  February 12, 2018

      Don’t you trust “economist Shamubeel Eaqub​, University of Otago Professor of Public Health Philippa Howden-Chapman and the Salvation Army’s Alan Johnson” Corky?

      Ain’t no crock … just a shock … how bad it got … with lock and Key … for English …

      • High Flying Duck

         /  February 12, 2018

        That list of authors is definitely enough to give pause. They all have the same strong worldview and would have suffered from confirmation bias and groupthink in this research.
        Perhaps having some diversity of thought would have brought a more robust piece of research?

        • PartisanZ

           /  February 12, 2018

          I’m sure NZ Initiative can come up with one … if they haven’t already … some complete dismissal and/or justification of homelessness …

          It’s the people’s own damn fault!

      • Corky

         /  February 12, 2018

        Rapper PZ…on his farewell tour, along with his backing band…’ Social Implosion.’

        • PDB

           /  February 12, 2018

          One only has to look at Venezuela to see where the PZ/Blazer/Guyton etc ‘promised land’ lies…

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5374501/Mass-exodus-thousands-Venezuelans-flee-country.html

          • robertguyton

             /  February 12, 2018

            A genuinely stupid comment, PDM, but par for your course.

            • PartisanZ

               /  February 12, 2018

              Try Bolivia PDB … as I posted yesterday … a thriving democratic socialist economy … Venezuela is failing due to economic war waged on it by the USA …

              Bolivia … one of a handful of countries in the world with a genuinely consociational Constitution too …

              But this isn’t what we’re talking about, is it? The homeless in NZ can’t flee the country …

              What’s wrong with admitting that most of us want things to improve for them?

              No, sorry, let’s quibble about how many there actually are …?

            • robertguyton

               /  February 12, 2018

              PDB’s not going to cite Bolivia, PartisanZ, no matter how often you present him with the details of it; he’ll cling to his “exemplar” no matter what, coz it suits him and his heartless world-view. His favoured National Party have nurtured a disgraceful state of affairs here in our own country, but PDB’ll not look at what Key and Co have done, preferring to squabble and quibble, as is his way.

            • PDB

               /  February 12, 2018

              “Venezuela is failing due to economic war waged on it by the USA …”

              The ‘go-to’ squirrel of the left. Rampant socialism has ruined Venezuela.

              Just as well we live in a classic ‘mixed-economy’ then isn’t it.

            • PDB

               /  February 12, 2018

              You are beginning to froth at the mouth Bob – best you buy some mouthwash.

              Bolivia! Hilarious! They have the biggest black economy in the world followed by Zimbabwe in 2nd place – hardly cause for celebration.

              They are heading down the path of Venezuela & are essentially running a corrupt dictatorship that is far from a democracy:

              “At 56, Mr. Paucara, a doorman in El Alto, Bolivia’s second-largest city, voted with the majority again, but that time to reject a 2016 referendum to let Mr. Morales seek a fourth term.

              Now nearing 60, Mr. Paucara says he is fuming: Mr. Morales has said he will run again anyway. The president has been aided in the courts, which threw out the country’s term limits, describing them as unfair to politicians like Mr. Morales, a leftist who has reshaped Bolivia in his dozen years in power.

              Mr. Paucara now fears that if the president wins again next year, he may be well on track to keep the job for life, unwilling to hand over his office to any successor.

              “He said he’d govern listening to the people, but that’s not the case now,” Mr. Paucara said of Mr. Morales as he stood at the entrance of the building where he works. “No means no,” he said, referring to the results of the referendum.”

              Mr. Morales’s determination to continue governing his landlocked country has echoes elsewhere in the region, where a stable grid of democracies suddenly looks a lot less solid. Corruption scandals have rocked Ecuador, a successful impeachment brought down a president in Brazil and an attempt to remove Peru’s president from office failed by only a slim margin.”

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 12, 2018

              Do people remember when there was a mass sleepout in cars to show solidarity with those who have to do this all the time ? What a futile gesture-it would have been more meaningful if each of those people had invited car-dwellers to stay with them. I wonder how many did, ha ha.

              I read about a young couple who were living in a converted van while they saved up-they didn’t see themselves as homeless.

            • Mefrostate

               /  February 12, 2018

              Venezuela is a disaster, therefore all politics slightly to my left is wrong.

  2. But Cindy solved homelessness along with child poverdy.
    Seriously exactly what do they claim as homeless?
    Sleeping on some-ones floor ?
    Sharing a room or a house?

    • PDB

       /  February 12, 2018

      Under this govt flatting would be ‘homeless’.

      • Blazer

         /  February 12, 2018

        under the previous Govt…working 1 hr a week ,was …employed.

        • PDB

           /  February 12, 2018

          That would make you…unemployed.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 12, 2018

            Remember when Labour really annoyed those people who were supposedly living in a tent on someone’s lawn ? They turned up with cameras and discovered that the ‘tent-dwellers’ were redecorating and had moved the furniture outside while they did so ( what a good idea-100x better than having to work around it)

  3. robertguyton

     /  February 12, 2018

    Well, that’s disgraceful. And indicative of the state of our society and the previously dominant political ideologies. Thank goodness those players have been sidelined, though I can still hear them cheering themselves on.

    • PDB

       /  February 12, 2018

      Don’t Greenies live at one with nature anyhow?

      • robertguyton

         /  February 12, 2018

        This one certainly tries. Don’t heartless neo-libs like you live at one with the dollar?

        • PDB

           /  February 12, 2018

          ‘Heartless neo-libs’ (as you wrongly describe) are the majority in this country that provide through taxes a decent living standard for those less fortunate or too lazy to contribute.

          How’s Labour’s housing plan coming along then? As of now they are 3000 new houses behind their election promise already. As with all their other election promise back-downs (water tax, immigration etc) best you continue to live in denial that they are actually going to do anything don’t you think?

          • robertguyton

             /  February 12, 2018

            The majority of New Zealanders are not, as you say, “heartless”, nor are they Neo-libs. You, PDB, fit the description though, as do your political heroes. The “homeless” discussion reveals more of you than you realise.

            • PDB

               /  February 12, 2018

              The ‘nasty neo-lib’s to far-left wingers like yourself is anybody to the right of Karl Marx, where the majority of the country happens to sit. Nothing ‘heartless’ in wanting to get more help to real people in need rather than to those that are on the gravy train of freebies.

              Inflating homelessness figures to suit a certain political agenda does nothing to help those people unfortunate enough to be really homeless.

              Regularly hanging out with the minority far-left wing screwballs on The Standard has warped your reality.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 12, 2018

    We can be certain Labour’s response to unaffordable bureaucracy will be more bureaucracy. Welcome to poverty, folks.

    As for Eaqub, “rent don’t buy” should be his epitaph.

    • PartisanZ

       /  February 12, 2018

      This isn’t about home ownership though, is it? Its about homelessness and getting housed …

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 12, 2018

        Of course it’s about home ownership. Sure you can have, buy, rent, build a house – so long as it conforms to our high standards and constraints and you pay our army of paper-pushers to certify it.

      • PDB

         /  February 12, 2018

        Even being housed doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t classed as ‘homeless’;

        Statistics NZ: “Living situations that provide temporary accommodation for people through sharing someone else’s private dwelling. The usual residents of the dwelling are not considered homeless.”

        • Blazer

           /  February 12, 2018

          I guess in your world,living in a Motel is not classed as …homeless…either.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 12, 2018

      I see Eaqub now has the cheek to say that only a fiscal idiot would not have borrowed to build over the past decade having himself campaigned against exactly that. Lefties have no conscience whatever.

  5. MaureenW

     /  February 12, 2018

    Driving down Hobson Street yesterday, mid-afternoon, pouring with rain; and there must have been 60 people covered in blankets, lying on the footpath outside of the City Mission. I work in the city and see homeless people on a daily basis, vacant expressions, just wandering around. I realise many have drugs and other psychological issues that limit their options but no-one would choose to be in the situation these people find themselves. I felt sorry for them, irrespective of their circumstances.
    With the continuation of the property casino and rising rents, this problem can only escalate. I’m personally in favour of more socially responsible governance to assist those truly in need.

    • robertguyton

       /  February 12, 2018

      Thanks for sharing your observations, Maureen.

    • 2Tru

       /  February 12, 2018

      With all this homelessness, a read that a business wants to import 200 builders from China. Will these 200 add to the homelessness figures by displacing kiwis living in rented accommodation? Instead of importing builders we need to be training our own and importing pre-fabricated quality housing.

      • PartisanZ

         /  February 12, 2018

        We could manufacture pre-fabricated quality housing here … and export it too!

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 12, 2018

          One problem is that very few people would want a drug addict living with them or in a house they own.

          I was interested to see the poster that The People’s Project has put up-that most of the people who beg and are assumed to be homeless are not, they have some sort of addiction and giving them money is just making this worse. Better to donate to some organisation that knows what it’s doing and can, with luck, help them.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 12, 2018

          Parti. I go past a place that does this-and they are really nice little houses and well-designed as well as being low-maintenance. They are good enough for anyone to live in. I don’t know about exporting, but they seem to do a good trade here. I would think that it was better to buy several of these than one much fancier one that makes the government look generous-look at what we are giving people to live in !

  1. Homelessness “is much worse than previously thought” — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition