Regional | Housing

Housing for young parents opens in west Auckland

A new transitional housing facility was opened today in Henderson, west Auckland.

Established by E Tipu e Rea Whānau Services, the housing facility is based on a papakāinga model and caters for homeless young māmā and couples who have or are expecting children.

Chief executive Zoe Witika-Hawke (Ngāti hako, Ngāti Paoa) says the homes are not simply a place to sleep because the residents will have all the necessary resources they need.

“We have midwifery, childhood immunisations, tamariki ora, social support, and we advocate for them regarding social benefits.

“And they do trust us, and it’s taken a long time to build that trust, because they have been hurt by other services,” she says.

Witika-Hawke says her kaimahi witness daily the dire housing situation for whānau in Aotearoa and the struggle to secure accommodation, particularly for young parents and their babies.

Great social services wanted

“At E Tipu E Rea, the challenges faced by whānau in long-term emergency housing are well understood, especially for young parents who are hapū, with pēpi and tamariki.”

These homes come just a week before the government announces its budget, and Witika-Hawke hopes to see sufficient financial support for the social services sector in it.

“I know the new government is keen on resourcing health.

“It would be great too if they were clear on the support they were going to give for social services and of course the community that we work with, young Māori māmā and pāpā. They absolutely will be the next generation of leaders, so why not give them what they deserve, great social services, and great hauora options? We want more of it.”