An effective housing first intervention relies on strong relationships and collaboration with all social and health services. Good collaboration and partnership between LinkPeople, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Housing New Zealand (HNZ) was essential to the success of housing a Waikato family in our rapid permanent housing service.
John*, Sharon* and their four children had been in a motel for three months when we first started working with them. Prior to being in a motel, they had been living in a property that was infested with mould and uninhabitable.
They had to dump all their furnishings, clothing and linen because of the damp, and the health of their children had started to suffer – with multiple hospital admissions and infections. In an attempt to make a stand, they ceased paying rent to their landlord which meant they ended up in the tenancy tribunal. Unfortunately, they lost and were evicted.
While at the motel, Sharon worked relentlessly to find a place to live and had been out scouring properties in the rental market. She had filled two exercise books with private properties they had viewed but were unsuccessful in securing.
The barriers for them were related to multiple debt and a record with the tenancy tribunal.
While living in the motel, the children’s behaviour started to deteriorate and the family were finding it difficult to cope in their temporary accommodation.
LinkPeople became involved and supported John, Sharon and their children into one of our rapid permanent housing properties. A round table discussion with MSD, HNZ and LinkPeople identified that an HNZ property was the ideal next step for this family because there were too many barriers to the housing market.
John and Sharon were flexible about where they wanted to live and, in anticipation of finding a permanent home, they started gathering items of furniture to replace all the items they had to throw away from their previous home.
It wasn’t long before HNZ identified that they had a property available nearby. John and Sharon signed the tenancy agreement the same afternoon they were offered the property.
This successful outcome was achieved because of the strong relationship between LinkPeople, MSD and HNZ, and our collaborative approach to sourcing the right housing outcome for this family. Since moving into their new home, the children have enrolled in school and early childhood centres, and John has been looking for employment.
*names changed to protect identity.