Now is the moment to end homelessness in Aotearoa

COVID-19 changed the urgency with which our country treats homelessness and our sense of what can be done.

People experiencing homelessness have been able to move, in significant numbers, from streets, cars and temporary shelter, into the safety of motels.

Partnerships across sectors have been forged and deepened. Funding for homelessness has been forthcoming and committed to for the foreseeable future in Aotearoa, which is not necessarily the case in other countries.

Central Government’s response to the pandemic has shown us that we can take action and solve homelessness in Aotearoa, with funding allocated for more than 1,500 motel places until 2021. Alongside other community providers of homelessness and Housing First services, The People’s Project is part of this COVID-19 response, supporting people in motels in Tauranga and Hamilton.


Motel places allocated





Using evidence to influence change

People returning to homelessness is not an option. The goal now is to support people into homes of their own.

Since 09 June 2020, The People’s Project has been supporting people to move out of emergency motel accommodation into a home of their own.


Permanent housing outcomes from motel places



at 30 September 2020



at 31 August 2020

Please note, these figures are also included in our overall results in Tauranga and Hamilton (active clients and housing outcomes). The intention here is to share each month how many people are moving from motels into permanent housing, with support. In September 2020, three more people in Hamilton were supported from motels into permanent housing, bringing the total number of people supported out of COVID-response motel placements and into permanent housing to 28.


What’s next?

It’s important that we build on the positive experiences and health and wellbeing gains people have made through having immediate access to safe, warm and clean shelter; regular nutritious meals; and regular contact from social services providing wrap-around support.

  • Everyone in temporary accommodation must be supported into permanent homes. We are working hard to identify and secure affordable housing options so that people can be supported to transition into a long-term home of their own, with ongoing wrap-around support to sustain their tenancy, for as long as it is required.
  • We must prevent a new wave of homelessness. COVID-19 has and will continue to have an impact on our economy, affecting employment rates and housing demand and supply. We must be mindful that many people will want to return home. As a nation we must pivot quickly and put supports in place that help all people maintain their housing during turbulent times and expedite building more affordable housing stock.

The choices and decisions we make now will determine whether we continue to reduce homelessness, or slip back into “old ways”.  Let’s take this opportunity to Change for Good, and advance the way we plan, fund, collaborate and deliver all social services, for the good of all the people who call Aotearoa home.

COVID-19: The People's Project is operating at Alert Level 1

We are open, but our office remains closed to 'walk ins'. You will need an appointment, so please phone us first before you head into our office. In HAMILTON phone 0800 437 348 or in TAURANGA phone 0800 198 010. If you have a runny nose, sore throat or cough, please do not come in - get tested and self-isolate until you are cleared by a doctor. The Ministry of Health encourages people to wear a face mask or covering when using public transport. You may be asked to wear a face mask or covering in our office. Thank you.