Boy at home with family

Case Study: Transitional housing helping to rebuild lives

Families are rebuilding their lives from the safety of Luke Street.

The first families that entered transitional housing at the 43-house development in Luke Street are now making their way to a more secure future.

Housing New Zealand has been constructing a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes in the suburb of Otahuhu, Auckland, as part of a cross agency programme to provide more transitional housing, led by the Ministry of Social Development.

Construction of the homes was completed in stages with the first three families moving in late February 2017 and a further nine families moving in March. The building is now complete with families moving in progressively as other families move on into more sustainable long term housing.

Transitional Houses 1

Some of the transitional housing for families temporarily living in Luke Street, Auckland.

Transitional Houses 2

The Ministry of Social Development has contracted three emergency housing providers – Monte Cecilia, Salvation Army and Vision West to look after the families living at the complex. As part of the programme, families come in for around 12 weeks, with emergency housing service providers supplying wrap-around services while they’re there.

Providers also help families secure more permanent accommodation to move into at the end of the 12 weeks, and continued support for a further 12 weeks.

The first families that moved into the complex were looked after by Monte Cecilia – and CEO Bernie Smith says that already four of those families have now moved on into more sustainable long term housing, three into Housing New Zealand properties and one into Monte Cecilia housing.

While it is still early days, Bernie says that they are seeing some progress with families.

“The families that are coming here have been through some tough times and have complex situations, so it will take some time for them to get on their feet,” he says.

“Our job is to try and equip them the best we can with support and information that will help them become more resilient,” he says.

Examples of the services and support that Monte Cecilia is providing include:

  • Ensuring kids are in school
  • Diabetes Bus visits
  • Plunket bus visits
  • One-on-one financial literacy sessions
  • Kiwi Harvest provides fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Social work and advocacy support and assistance with translation

A family’s story

One of the first families to move into Luke Street is now reaping the benefits of the support it’s received while there.

The family of nine found itself in hardship when the father moved to Australia to find employment. The family back in Auckland struggled as a result, and eventually found itself without a secure and stable place to live.

Thankfully the family was able to move into one of the transitional homes at Luke Street where it received support. While there, Monte Cecilia also helped them to secure them a new home that they could not only afford to live in, but also sustain long term.

The family has now moved into its new accommodation. The eldest child even has her own room for the first time.

“This is the first time we have ever lived in a warm, dry house,” says the mother of seven.