Housing Support Guide Mobile

Housing support guide released in The West

A free resource guide is being distributed in The West for people who are homeless or in danger of becoming so.

The Guide to Homelessness, Housing and Community Resources in West Auckland is being delivered to community hubs, libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaus, Work and Income offices and local social service organisations.

The Trusts has printed 2,000 copies of the booklet, created by the Housing Call to Action, to make it accessible to the wider community.

“The Guide to Homelessness, Housing and Community Resources in West Auckland has become a well-known and sought-after resource,” says Lee Hickey, the Manager of WEST: West Auckland Enterprise, Skills and Training. “We were very thankful when The Trusts offered to print the new version which had just been updated,” she says. “The guide is put together by volunteers and we do not have a budget to print it each year. The 2,000 copies donated by The Trusts enable us to deliver guides to hubs and libraries throughout West Auckland, and into the hands of the community.”

Lee says people can take the book home to source information on a wide range of topics. Many people in our community are one pay cheque away from the risk of homelessness, she says. “With the cost-of-living increases impacting many, and the constant worry many have about having enough money to support their families each week, the guide serves as a keeper booklet with information they can use and share with others about where they can go to find support when things go wrong.”

For a few years now, Henderson’s WEST Community Hub has convened the Housing Call to Action or HC2A as well as belonging to it. The HC2A includes local government officials, community organisations, and people working in the housing and homelessness fields.

The HC2A put together the book to give anyone impacted by homelessness the information they need to find a housing option. It includes details on how to apply for emergency and transitional housing along with where people can access tenancy, WINZ, or ACC advocacy. The guide offers resources for anyone in need of food, housing, or someone to talk to, as well as places to go if they are facing family violence or need access to free Wi-Fi for online applications. It highlights Pataka Kai (community pantry) locations in the area, food banks, health and wellbeing support services, financial guidance and budgeting assistance, CV writing help, and upskilling opportunities.

People often come to the WEST Community Hub seeking help to find housing through the Ready to Rent programme. They may be anyone, young or old, from any background - “people just like you and me,” Lee says. “Their vulnerability sits with their situation. Finding another rental property has become as difficult as finding a job and often now requires a rental CV, multiple open home views, online applications and credit checks.”

Those who are living in cars or sleeping on the streets can often access immediate support in the form of emergency or transitional housing through the Ministry of Social Development, she says. But she describes many people as being “in-between.” They have a temporary roof over their heads, are sleeping in a family member’s lounge or garage, or surfing from friend-to-friend’s spare room in the hope the next rental application will be the one.

“Every night in West Auckland hundreds of people, including children, are homeless,” Lee says. “If we look hard enough, we might notice the cars with misty windows parked up overnight at parks, the house down the street with a multitude of cars parked outside and many people living there, or the family living in the garage at the neighbour’s house, the garage door pulled halfway with beds inside. If you or someone you know is in this situation, there is support available to help find temporary housing and then work on a long-term, sustainable housing solution.”

Copies of the guide will also be available at the August ‘Homelessness and Housing in West Auckland Hui’, where Community Think’s Cissy Rock (pictured) will serve as the master of ceremonies. Those working in the housing area are welcome to attend.
Email housingc2a@gmail.com for more information.