Homeless man gets house after 26 years living rough

An organisation with a remarkable success rate for helping the homeless into homes says homelessness is a growing problem in New Zealand.

It wants the Government to shift its focus from temporary accommodation to more permanent solutions.

One man it helped spent almost three decades in limbo. Rimaati Kaipo spent 26 years in and out of emergency accommodation and shared the pavement with a large group of rough sleepers.

It wasn't until housing worker Simmy Williams got involved and started talking to Mr Kaipo that something changed. Now, he finally has a place of his own.

"Getting a house is the best thing that happened to me, and I like it, I love it," he says.

The Government has poured millions of dollars into providing emergency housing in the last few years. It's even bought motels to house the homeless.

But organisation LinkPeople, which found Mr Kaipo his home, says that's not a long term solution.

"Emergency housing is absolutely critical but we need part of a wider housing system that looks at permanent housing solutions for people," says Rami Alrudaini, who leads LinkPeople's Housing First programme in south Auckland.

An Auckland council homeless count found 800 people living without shelter and almost 3000 in temporary accommodation.

While Mr Kaipo has finally got his home, there are still many more waiting for help.