Government to spend $100 million on housing the homeless in motels

The Government is spending more than $100 million to house homeless people in motels until it can move them to more permanent housing.

Since the alert levels were introduced in New Zealand, the Government has paid for over 1100 additional motel units for people who are living rough and homeless. The new funding now brings this total to 1600 units.

Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods says the $107.6 million funds will support homeless people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

"Finding safe accommodation for our most vulnerable people through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a key priority for the Government.

"People living rough or in accommodation where social distancing was not possible were especially vulnerable to COVID-19."

As of this weekend, 876 units have people and their families living in them and they're also being supported with social services, Woods says.

Of the new funding, $31 million will provide wraparound services to support these people's needs.

"Many of the people living in the motels have high and complex needs and it's crucial they get support. This Government investment will provide certainty for the people and whānau living in motels and the providers supporting them during this difficult time," she says.

She added work is already underway to find more permanent housing for people who have been moved to motel units during the lockdown.

"As the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the Government's build programme and work with the construction sector will resume to bring on more housing at pace."