Mayoral Taskforce on homelessness sets action plan
A Mayoral Taskforce has been set up to tackle the issue of homelessness in Tauranga.
Local government, central government agencies, local philanthropic funders and community organisations in the western Bay of Plenty have joined forces with the aim of eliminating homelessness throughout the Western Bay of Plenty.
Following a successful first meeting of the Mayoral Taskforce on Homelessness, chairperson and Tauranga City Mayor Tenby Powell describes the evolving taskforce partnership as an “exciting step forward in tackling the region’s homelessness issues”.
“It has taken a few months to get to this stage, but during that time, a strategy and action plan – named Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes – has been developed by our key community providers, with the help of Philip King of Lycus Ltd,” says Powell.
“The taskforce partner agencies have now agreed on a new name, Kāinga Tupu Mayoral Taskforce, and adopted a Memorandum of Understanding and structure to guide the Taskforce’s implementation of the action plan.”
He says the partnership, developed with Government departments, is particularly positive, because it can potentially provide access to targeted funding streams for the western Bay of Plenty sub-region.
“Our sub-region’s homelessness issues are complex and no single organisation has the knowledge, expertise and resources needed to address all of those issues.
"But together, we can collaborate to deliver real solutions and execute an action plan that will, over time, provide greater housing solutions and increased wellbeing for people experiencing homelessness.
“Our vision is that homelessness in the western Bay of Plenty is prevented where possible, or is rare, brief and non-recurring; and our mission is to ensure that all residents have access to housing which is warm, safe, habitable and affordable.”
Kāinga Tupu’s action plan focuses on four workstreams aligned with the National Homelessness Action Plan:
• Prevention - ensuring that individuals and whānau receive the help they need to stop homelessness happening in the first instance;
• Support - all residents have a place to call home;
• Supply - providing homes so that people experiencing homelessness can move quickly into stable accommodation and access the wider social support they need; and
• System enablers – systems support and enable our vision to address homelessness together.
Organisations involved in the taskforce include the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Te Pūni Kōkiri, Ministry of Social Development, Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities, NZ Police, Ministry of Education, Department of Corrections, BOP District Health Board, Wise Group, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi te Rangi Iwi Trust, Ngāti Ranginui Iwi Society Trust, BayTrust, EmpowermentNZ, Under the Stars, Accessible Properties, Huria Marae, and Tauranga City CouncilAction Group membership will also draw upon a range of other social agencies.
Evaluation and monitoring of activities will be a key feature, to ensure that action plans stay on track and are delivering the outcomes envisaged.
Project manager and Tauranga City Council Community Development Advisor Jodie Robertson acknowledges the financial contributions of Kāinga Ora: Homes and Communities, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Ministry of Social Development and Tauranga City Council, which have funded the development of an Evaluation and Monitoring Framework.
Robertson says Kāinga Tupu has some aspirational goals to achieve by 2023.
• Emphasis on COVID-19 recovery and supporting those who are currently placed in emergency accommodation;
• Social housing should make-up at least 4 per cent of the region’s housing stock;
• Measurement of progress and success is managed through an integrated data platform;
• Identification of the western Bay of Plenty by central Government as a housing-need hot spot;
• Coordinated sector responses and allocated funding are in place;
• Establishment of a funded, sustaining tenancies programme; and
• More affordable housing is available across the sub-region.
“We have a series of priority actions across all workstreams to deliver those goals, with response and recovery to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic being a top priority."
Robertson also acknowledges the generosity of a range of organisations which have contributed funding to the development of Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes, including Tauranga City Council, Te Pūni Kōkiri, TECT, and BayTrust; and the crucial contribution of community providers, which has been the “driving force” behind the strategy.
Powell says that having set its goals, Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes now needs to maintain the momentum.
“Consequently, the Taskforce will meet every month to monitor progress and overcome obstacles and will share more information on its action plans as the activities they involve are rolled-out.”
For further information on the Kāinga Tupu: Growing Homes strategy or action plan, visit the Tauranga City Council website.